Education industry and its changing trends: Life- The main EXAM
Teaching kids to count is fine but teaching them what counts is best.
– Bob Talbert
While education is, undoubtedly, essential to help you get ahead in your career, not everything you need for professional and personal success is taught in textbooks. In fact, strong listening and interpersonal skills, empathy, self-discipline and creativity, can play a crucial role in helping you realize your ambitions. Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of our financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” our personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. This 85 percent is known as life skills. We need life skills in our day to day lives. Life skills help us to manage our lives better and increase our STANDARD OF LIFE.
Changing trends in the education industry:
Few years ago, an internship for a student in eleventh grade was a rare thing. We now have students who are actively seeking internships or opportunities to work in NGOs right after their tenth grade. Institutes are also encouraging students to go for exchange programs abroad or exchange semester subjects within their own courses.
Changing trends in the education industry can be witnessed in Retail Management
Students are encouraged to take up projects such as mystery shopping, conduct competitive analysis, work on business models etc. while they are studying.
They are also given projects to set-up their own store, categorize their merchandise well, take care of the visual merchandising, calculate retail KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) etc. Hotel management students are encouraged to implement all that they have learnt in three years of graduation and execute projects such making business plans, setting up theme restaurants etc.
Changing trends in the education industry can be witnessed in Engineering
Students regularly take part in contests and college fests and make some great machines. While these opportunities are great and do teach them much more than the textbooks do, we need to go a step further. In the process, we also need to train them on Presentation skills, Time Management, Communication skills, Leadership, Team building, Managing conflicts, Creative thinking and Problem Solving.
Changing trends in the education industry can be witnessed in Other Institutes
Some educational institutes are slowly integrating these skills as a part of their curriculum. They have life skills trainers who specifically train on Study skills, Speed reading, Communication skills, Preparing for interviews, Leadership, Team Building, Time Management and Goal Setting. A few institutes also train students on Customer service, Sales and Negotiation skills.
There are institutes that try to give their students a flavor of what board room meetings are. Like what are appraisal procedures, how the trade markets work etc. Capstone projects are now being taken very seriously. Students exhibit their artwork and even stand a chance to get a great job!
Wouldn’t it be nice if these and more were taught in EVERY educational institute? At the end of the day, each one of us wants to be prepared to handle the real exam- LIFE.
Here are a few life skills that would help each student:
1. Time and Stress Management:
Students need to be taught the value of time and how finding time for the right things can change their lives. Apart from that, they also need to know how to maintain their calm in stressful times. Ideally, a meditation session should be conducted in school every day. We could focus more on visualization meditation, mindfulness and affirmations.
2. Goal Setting:
Goals are important in every area of our lives. Students should be encouraged to have family goals, health goals and spiritual goals and not just career or financial goals.
3. How to cope with failures and learn from them?
We all make mistakes and will continue to do so. Hence, what’s important is how we bounce back and don’t repeat the mistakes.
4. How to be happy?
Each one’s end goal is to be happy then why are we in the medium maximization mode? Students should be taught how to deal with their limiting beliefs, irrational fears and emotional turbulence and stop the unhealthy emotional processing. Mental health awareness is also much needed.
5. Our etiquette speaks volumes about us
Students can be taught how to dine right, exchange courtesies and converse with others. They can also be taught how to write effective emails, maintain digital and social etiquette.
6. How to manage money?
We are taught calculations, accounting and costing but we are not taught how to save, how to manage our budgets, plan our finances, how to have a good credit score and analyze our credit reports.
7. Emotional intelligence and empathy
The sociology department at the University of Michigan, led by Dr. William Axinn at the Population Studies Center, tells us that college students today are approximately 40 percent less empathetic than they were just ten years ago. Emotional intelligence and empathy help us to connect on a human level. So, if this is missing, our relationships are bound to suffer.
8. How to prepare for jobs, how to find the right jobs and apply for them?
A lot of students don’t know how to write a good resume or introduce themselves in personal interviews. A structured campus to corporate program could sort them out.
Apart from these, learning few jobs like home repairs, car repairs, gardening, plumbing, painting, health care like dental care, eye care and relationship counselling can help them go a long way.
Methodologies of teaching have definitely changed. We no longer focus only on the textbooks or for that matter on PowerPoint presentations. Along with the methodologies, we also need to refocus on what’s really important in the long run. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the need of the hour is to invest more time and efforts in life skills.