‘Students need new skill sets’

White paper calls for digital fluency

March 26, 2018 01:20 am | Updated 04:50 pm IST - CHENNAI

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 16/03/2018: Students make last minute preparations before the SSLC examination at Greater Chennai Corporation Girl's Higher Secondary School in Perambur, Chennai on Friday. 
Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 16/03/2018: Students make last minute preparations before the SSLC examination at Greater Chennai Corporation Girl's Higher Secondary School in Perambur, Chennai on Friday. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

In the coming years, students must equip themselves with new sets of skills and possess digital fluency to remain relevant.

The industry requirement has changed drastically in the last decade as companies no longer require assembly line workers but those who can adapt to a heavily computerised work place.

A white paper by a non-governmental organisation, Quest Alliance, which is working with students in various States, has found that future jobs and skills would require candidates to be self-aware, digital-literate, and possess communication skills. “The big focus needs to be on skills instead of technical knowledge. People need to adapt and learn on a regular basis,” said Akash Sethi, executive director of Quest Alliance.

Their interviews with industry leaders revealed that the demand was for learnability skills, such as digital literacy, self-awareness and building relationships.

“There is a lot more scope to integrate life and work-ready curriculum. At present, only 20-25% of the curriculum is designed to this end but the need is 50-60%,” he said.

Students in ITIs must be more digitally literate and fluent. A student studying welding must know to operate a welding robot. “For this, they need to be familiar with the digital interface, basics of programming and logical and critical thinking that will enable them to operate the robot on the shop floor,” Mr. Sethi added.

S.N. Janardhanan, president of Vocational Teachers’ Association, says the revised syllabi for the higher secondary section from the next academic year will focus on computer education for all students in some form. It is also proposed to introduce children in younger classes to digital learning, he says.

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