Present digital age is blessed with ample technological advancements nicely embedded with the convergence of technologies yielding the modern civilization. A closer look indicates that the major responsibility for sustenance, application and up gradation of technology for good of human being lies on the youth of the day. Therefore the countries with a large fraction of younger population are likely to play a major role in meeting the requirements of the civilization of present and future. India's demographic statistics show that the average age of India is likely to be 29 years as compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan by 2020 with the population spectrum having 50 percent population below the age of 25 years.
It infers that India holds the key for creating potential contributors in technological development and it is inevitable to train and educate our children starting from kindergarten to the doctoral level with the best possible education of high quality and rigor. Any slackness in the design, development, and delivery of the education system is bound to create a pool of people with inadequate competence whose incapability to contribute in the economy will eventually become a liability for the society.
Present technical education sector being run in public, private and public-private partnership mode may have their specific challenges due to their nature but the generic area of concern remain in the inputs of technical education sector namely the quality of students aspiring for it, admission procedures and many more. The holistic assessment indicates that the technical education is incapable of offering work for survival and livelihood to all. Poor communication skills, technical skills, comprehensive analytical skills, real-life application of knowledge, presentation skills, analytical skills and quest for continuous learning appear to be lagging in respect to expectations of employers and community in general.
Deficiencies in the expected capabilities need to be taken care with the concerted efforts of all those involved in the creation of well-trained and competent technical manpower which will be possible only when technical education institutions have the capability to shoulder such onerous responsibility of educating learners up to requisite quality. A reality check shows that the situation is quite grim with the large number of technical education institutions lacking in requisite teaching and non-teaching human resource, necessary teaching-learning infrastructure in terms of quantity as well as quality along with poor governance through unvisionary leadership promoting mediocrity. It is quite likely that there may be agreement or disagreement to the issues referred above, but the mega-shift of students from technical education to other education is undeniable.
How to resolve?
There is immediate need of rigorous counseling through which students are apprised and motivated well for completing their education up to secondary level with the objective of learning as per their interest and not for the sake of succeeding in certain examinations. Confidence building in the students with respect to the career prospects in the areas of their respective interest will only make it worthwhile for them to choose a career as per their passion. It is important for all aspirants of technical education to make a candid assessment of their capabilities before choosing it and then work seriously for achieving excellence. All teachers of the primary and secondary education system should be made clear of the learning outcome of their teaching which will make them strive hard for imparting knowledge through the classroom and laboratory teachings instead of focus on rote learning.
For education system at every level, the activity-based learning and enhancing problem-solving capability as per interests of learner can definitely supplement routine classroom activities so as to make it much more meaningful. Every classroom needs to become a living laboratory where learners and teacher get engaged effectively in effective learning. Teachers of technical education need to remain updated through their active involvement in technological challenges & developments and keep on adapting newer teaching pedagogies to maintain the interest of learners and promote creativity in them. Governance of the institutions also need to be made more committed, responsive, proactive, fair, and quality conscious for infusing confidence and motivating the team of teachers and supporting staff along with learners.
Dr. Onkar Singh
Has been the founder Vice-Chancellor of Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur, Dr. Onkar Singh currently serves as the Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur. Prof. Singh has rich experience of the higher education system as a teacher, researcher, academic administrator and also through his association with Governing Bodies of a large number of premier Institutions and statutory regulatory bodies of the country.