Rohan Parikh shares some of the core competencies that schools should inculcate in students from a young age for them to be adequately prepared to enter the workforce
The world today is vastly different from what it was a few decades ago. There are new types of jobs and skills required in the workforce, and as the world continues to progress, there will be newer and different competencies that will be required. We will live in, what educators define as, a VUCA world: A volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous world. So, for the coming generations to be adequately prepared to enter the workforce, they need to be equipped with competencies that will be useful to them in the future.
Educational institutes are responsible for providing students with those competencies or core skills that will allow them to be satisfied and successful in the workplace. Along with the world, the skills being taught in schools must also be upgraded to suit students in the future. No longer can we rely on the educational tools of the past to equip our students for the unknown future. So rather than teaching student’s specific tasks or specialisations, it’s more effective to teach them some basic competencies which will ensure they grow into good citizens. Here are some of the core competencies schools should look to inculcate in students from a very young age:
Creative thought: Students should be taught how to think outside the box and come up with unique solutions to problems presented to them. There is no cookie-cutter solution to problems, and therefore, students, too, need to look at problems from various angles and present solutions that would best fit.
Critical thinking: One of the most important skills that need to be inculcated in students is the ability to think critically and independently. This means that they should possess the skill to be able to take in information, analyse it and understand it, rather than taking someone else’s word for it. Especially in the current day where there is such ease of access to information, students need to be able to analyse for themselves what is correct and what is not.
Collaboration: Both of these competencies work hand in hand. The workforce today is a more collaborative space than it has been the past decades. Almost any job profile requires a person to work effectively and efficiently along with others. Therefore, students must be taught how to correctly pitch their ideas and receive feedback from others in a professional manner. They should be taught to read others and handle difficult situations that may arise in life, and later in the workforce.
Effective communication: Using the right tone, language and right kind of communication can prove to be a key factor in helping students correctly navigate their way through life. They have to be taught how to correctly present their ideas to other students or adults and later on how to effectively communicate their ideas in the workplace. Good communication skills will also help them build self-confidence as they progress.
These core competencies should be brought into the classrooms and taught to students from a very young age. Together these will help them in achieving their goals and being confident in their abilities to reach their objectives. And as students become adults, they will be able to easily adapt, innovate, communicate and solve issues, making them overall changemakers in the workforce.
(The writer is the MD of The Green Acres Academy.)