Dr. Gitanjali Kalia, Associate Professor, Chitkara University

Dr. Gitanjali Kalia is a creative enthusiast by heart and an academician by profession. She has nearly 12+ years of work experience in the field as well as in education with a PhD in the field of Online Advertising. Dr Kalia has authored many research papers and articles for various journals, magazines, and newspapers and also have also been the contributor of chapters to Indian Universities for distance learning programmes. A voracious reader by nature, she pens down her thoughts as a blogger. Dr Kalia’s poems have been published by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi in a compilation and she has recently authored an ebook on poetry titled ‘Lyrical Emotions’.

 

Education used to be the most respectable and honourable profession at one point of time. With changing times, the education system has come over a paradigm shift. Be that admission process, teacher-student relationship, capabilities of teachers or employability of students, being a part of the education system is like walking on the edge.

Surfing the television channel is one of the best practice for killing time but a few days back I came across a debate on national news channels about admission cut-off being 100% by the Sri Ram College under Delhi University for three-hour courses. Even other colleges like Hindu College, Hansraj College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, etc had their near to 100% only like 99.25-75%.  Like really!! That means students are scoring 100 per cent marks in their boards which is a synonym for perfection. I had goosebumps listening to that debate and mind got filled with so many questions. I got overwhelmed with emotions like astonishment and anger and uttered what’s wrong with our education system. As we were taught during our education that no one is perfect and languages and subjective subjects are never given full marks. This hit me hard being an academician myself. How can subject like Hindi, English, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Social Science have full marks?

Being in the education field was talk of pride at one point of time but today it’s no less than a corporate job. Teachers are the employees of corporate and students are the clients of the corporate whom we want to make happy either way. Well, I know this connotation works more with the university level students but primary education is equally important and certainly of more weightage and this New Education Policy by the government is really hope. Maybe we can sustain the human values with some changes in our education policy. As per India’s Census 2011, Youth (15-24 years) in India constitutes one-fifth (19.1%) of India’s total population. India is expected to have 34.33% share of youth in total population by 2020 that means the challenges are going to be tougher. No wonder the youth is much smarter and sharper these days and many are exceptional in their learning and performance but my concern is with the majority of strength.

A recent report by the Centre for Sustainable Employment at Azim Premji University, State Of Working India 2018, noted that unemployment among the well-educated is thrice the national average. There are roughly 55 million people in the labour force who hold at least a graduate degree, and about 9 million of them are estimated to be unemployed.

YouGov-Mint Millennial Survey conducted through an online poll of over 5,000 respondents spread across 180 cities. The survey reveals that most of those aged 21 years or below, and not yet working and expect a salary of at least ₹ 30,000 per month. The report also stated that a large number of millennials and post-millennials want to start their own businesses rather than look for formal employment concluded the survey. What accentuates there thought process are the offers like Start-up India and success stories of the dropouts that allure students to drive towards short cuts to success.

What concerns me more is the pace at which companies are hiring youth on such salary. Being a part of the education system, I have seen a drastic change in the hiring of the graduates and postgraduates at the university level. On average students are hired at the package of 3-5 lakh, say roughly around 15-18k per month as a fresher and anything less than that is not permissible to them. Money allures them and education takes a backseat.

Without doubt, students are sharper and street smart today but even then experience to handles situation and decision making qualities comes over a period of time, thus creating a difference between a professional and an amateur. Students need to understand and imbibe in them that they need to learn the acumen of being professional and enhance their knowledge through learning professional traits.

The approach of easy availability of marks and job makes them competitive, impulsive and therefore leading to frequent switching of the job thus contributing to more of unemployment. Though there might be other reasons for switching the jobs as well like the work culture of the company, financial expectations, location preferences, nature of job or designation provides or expectations to have their own enterprise.

No wonder youth are the biggest asset of our country and providing the right direction with an adequate environment is what the education system should work on. If you are capable, attaining a job is not a problem and with government support that is providing provision for job provider rather than a seeker, more opportunities are awaiting their arrival. All we need to work on is Skill development and developing the right aptitude and attitude towards work.

Related Articles