October 31, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: Delhi’s economy is in a state of recovery following the COVID-19 shock with teamwork and efforts from people, businesses, traders, workers, and the government. The companies that had suffered huge losses due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown have begun reopening, and thousands of workers who lost their jobs are beginning to find work. However, India still stares at unparalleled levels of unemployment among the youth that have pre-COVID roots.
Generating employment for the youth should be a top priority for any government. However, the need of the hour is to facilitate employment generation that will re-invigorate the economy and act as a catalyst for Delhi’s growth.
An essential promise from the Aam Aadmi Party has been equipping the students with quality education, skills, and knowledge that will enable them to join the workforce. The Delhi government recently took an important step towards this goal with the first board meeting of the Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University (DSEU). Despite having an enthusiastic and aspiring young population, India’s under-investment in skills education has resulted in a huge skill gap. India has less than 5 per cent of the workforce provided with formal skill training. The informal sector, which contributes to 82 per cent of the workforce in India makes less than 50 per cent of the GDP of the country.
One of the negatives of the ongoing skills training efforts is that they do not carry the weight of formal educational degrees. They are also unable to match the scale and quality demanded by the industry. With DSEU, the Delhi government aims to produce thousands of professionals around the year, with entry-level to advanced-level courses for students from classes 10 and 12 as well as for those having undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. Industry and academia’s respected individuals will provide combined efforts to this initiative and help build an institution that is elegant and sensitive to the market’s needs. IIM-Ahmedabad’s professor Neharika Vohra is the University’s first Vice-Chancellor. Pramath Sinha, founder of the Indian School of Business and Ashoka University, Sanjeev Bikchandani, founder of naukri.com, Genpact founder Pramod Bhasin, startup investor Srikanth Shastri, former VC of the Indraprastha University professor KK Aggarwal and professor G Srinivasan are stalwart members of the university board.
DSEU will also have collaborative efforts with companies to design industry-specific courses, to ensure that the skills being imparted to students match both job seekers and job creators, and are at par with the demand in the local markets. The university’s course offerings will be flexible as market requirements are continually evolving. Regardless of their market value and professional utility, too many existing courses continue for as long as 25-30 years with the same curriculum in various government and private institutions.
This university will aim to be radical in redesigning, dropping, and introducing new courses. Continuous market research will drive the course design. It will also equip students to create jobs for others by incubating their entrepreneurial ventures. It will, in turn, give the youth a chance to contribute not just as members of the workforce, but also as job creators.
Providing high-quality public education is an expensive project that requires transformative political will power. In 2015, Delhi’s government schools were in dire shape. The AAP government worked for the needs of the students, parents, and teachers by trying to create an immersive environment for students. Bringing the community on board, improving teacher training and accountability systems, giving resources to school leaders and administrative autonomy, making parents active partners in children’s learning, upgrading infrastructure, introducing Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum and computer programming within the curriculum, were also some of the most innovative initiatives in the schooling system.
Transformation within the government school education system was the first education revolution Delhi saw and now building massive capacity for skills in education would be an integral part of the Delhi education revolution 2.0. It shall be a widely welcomed initiative for the student community, which is now grappling with the aftermath of an unprecedented event such as COVID-19.
Source: First Post