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Why Indian education system is failing your kids

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By Harshmeet Singh

To most Indian parents, the only criterion to mark their child’s intelligence is the grades at school. With the child’s grades becoming as much ‘status symbol’ in the society as a luxury car, parents’ concern about their kid’s academic record is driven by concern and worry equally.

An entire generation of kids is cramping up facts and data without understanding the significance behind any of it. Since rote writing gives them the glory of achieving good grades, they can’t be blamed for not trying anything else. What’s more – the ones who try to go beyond rote learning are discouraged with low grades and never-ending follow up questions.

Every child is different

In our society, teaching is a thankless job. Unless you are teaching at a coaching centre for competitive examinations, your teaching profession is considered as your failure to get a good job. The simple fact that teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of shaping the lives of hundreds of students who would go on to shape the country’s future speaks volumes for the role they play in the society.

Yet, most teachers tend to overlook a simple fact – every child is different. The learning capacity and methods of each individual evolve in a different manner. While some people are audio learners, others may be visual learners. There are also a number of people who prefer a kinaesthetic method of learning. It is the teacher’s responsibility to understand the most suitable method for kids’ learning and feed them in that manner. Forcing the rote learning methods on to the kids can kill the potential of their minds.

Indian Education system

Barring some occasional end ranks in the top 100 institutes of the world, Indian educational institutes don’t give much reason to cheer. An acute shortage of teachers at the primary level and a dipping reading level of the kids are the standout features of our education system. Rote learning methods dominate our classrooms, with students learning or rather remembering to pass examinations and score marks, not to gain knowledge. The top rankers are the ones who can learn the most, not the ones who understood the most. An increasing school enrollment ratio has failed to increase the quality of education given in schools.

Bad teachers & absence of teachers

While much attention is given to the high number of vacancies in schools, there are minimal efforts to ensure that the appointed teachers provide the quality of learning that is expected from them. Most of the teachers are poorly trained. Considering that they got their jobs by passing an exam on the basis of rote learning, they can’t be expected to inculcate different values in their students. Absence of teacher training programs has ensured that the teachers reach stagnation within a couple of years of joining.

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British Columbia Looking For Skilled Indian to Join Tech Related Jobs

"India would be a very crucial market for us. There are many international immigrants including Indians in Vancouver".

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British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world
British Columbian Flag.Wikimedia commons

British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world, is looking at a shortfall of 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs, with India as an important catchment area for recruiting immigrant talent.

“India, the Philippines and Nigeria are the countries we are looking for tapping talent in the Information Technology (IT) sector,” says Patrick Mackenzie, CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council (IEC) of British Columbia, the southwestern province in Canada which accounts for more than 10,000 companies and approximately $29 billion (Canadian dollars) in revenue.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the third annual BCTECH Summit here, Mackenzie said there are huge openings for immigrants as information system analysts, consultants, software engineers and designers and computer system managers.

“The current supply cannot meet the industry’s growing demands for tech talent. By 2021, there will be an anticipated shortfall of over 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs in the province,” he noted.

Unless immediate action was taken by the provincial and federal governments, tech employers, the settlement and integration sector and other key shareholders, this employment gap will severely limit the potential growth of the industry, Mackenzie added.

The “2016 Tech Talent BC Report” identifies three talent pools — new entrants or recent graduates, immigrants and other local supply to include career transitioners and people from under-represented groups.

The focus of the report was immigrants and the country needs to source 8,500 more immigrants than are currently projected to arrive in BC by 2021 to meet the growing tech sector demand.

British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan, in his remarks at the plenary session on Wednesday, put the figure at 9,600 which the province needs to bring people from across the world into the tech sector.

British Columbia, the Canadian province that is a leader in technology and has one of the fastest growing tech ecosystems in the world
British Columbia is willing to hire numerous skilled personnel for their technical industry. Pexels

The tech and innovation sector in BC has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, transforming its economy in many ways that people could not have imagined. It is evident in the increase of technology jobs from 66,000 in 2002 to more than one lakh in 2016.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, British Columbia, said the province is home to globally-recognised talent, trained at international renowned post-secondary institutions and some of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry.

Ralston said the government of British Columbia actively supported the tech sector to build the good, highly-skilled jobs of tomorrow and to keep their traditional sectors stay efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.

“However, we know the government cannot grow the tech sector alone, and we need strong partnerships –within the private sector, with other levels of government, with educators, and between our traditional industries and innovative tech companies- to continue to develop the emerging economy,” he added.

Mackenzie says even this year, despite the high number of openings, actually over 3,600 jobs will get unfilled till 2020-21 if we don’t find ways to fill them. “We need 8,500 immigrants with skills,” he added.

Asked about the emphasis the IEC would have on India as a pool for scouting talent, he said: “India is a leader in the tech sector and the Council has a very clear picture how to rope in talent and to tell the immigrants what they can look for and do in Canada”.

“India would be a very crucial market for us. There are many international immigrants including Indians in Vancouver”.

It is not just tech jobs and there are openings everywhere, the IEC CEO stressed.

One of the key findings of the IEC report on “Employer Challenges in Attracting and Integrating Immigrant Talent into BC’s Tech Sector” was that most employers had used at least one of the programmes to source international talent and had mixed reviews.

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The other was the alignment between immigrant talent and tech employer needs as they relate to soft skills (language) and hard skills (technical).

With a few exceptions, most employers felt that immigrants’ soft skills were in short supply and, in particular, their interpersonal communication styles often do not align with Canadian employers’ expectations.

The final theme of the report involved settlement and integration services and support for newcomers and their families.

British Columbia is home to international tech giants like Microsoft, Google and others.