The United Nations General Assembly has declared January 24 as the International Day of Education to celebrate the instrumental role it plays in the development of human lives. Indeed, education is a powerful vehicle for anyone who wants to reach his/her destination. In fact, in most countries of the world, it is a basic human right. 

The UNESCO has found glaring irregularities in the number of educated children in the world. As many as 617 million children and adolescents cannot read or do basic maths. In India, the Right to Education Act 2009 has helped bring the primary school enrolment up to 92%. However, even to this day, around 70% of Indian adults have not had upper secondary education

Young and educated but jobless

If you think things are rosy for those who attend college, think again. A recent survey shows that 80% of engineers in India are not fit for employment. As a result, these youngsters struggle to find appropriate, leave alone well-paying jobs. Why is this happening? 

Our Education System 

As of 2019, it was found that there were close to 1000 universities in the country. However, only 6 universities made it to the top 500 universities in the world in recent rankings. Similar problems plague the Indian higher education and school systems- lack of qualified faculty, outdated curriculums/syllabi, lack of adequate funding and the like. To this day, most schools in the country are more focused on mark sheets than on teaching the child something valuable for life. In this scenario, how can we expect our youth to create successful careers? 

What is Education? 

According to Wikipedia, education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. While primary education in India, like in many other countries, is compulsory, the quality of teaching is very poor. Though Indian government school teachers are paid more than even their Chinese counterparts, they still fare very poorly in terms of their work. 

As a result, private schools have been witnessing a rise in enrolments. In fact, around 17 million students have joined private schools in the last five years whereas government schools have lost around 13 million students. 

Redefining education- the need of the hour 

Private schools shoulder a massive responsibility today. They need to provide that education which makes children future-ready. Students must be capable of facing real challenges of the 21st century. Schools must impart 21st-century skills like the following.learning skills

It is only when schools can pre-empt and provide that students can go on to become independent and valuable global citizens. Skill-building forms the crux of education in our fast-paced world today. Such education is sure to empower students to power through tough times, make smarter choices, solve problems, and become leaders tomorrow. 

Career Counselling- mapping skills to careers 

Every child requires a career counsellor to guide him/her from grade 8. As a child starts to develop several skills through the education system, he/she needs to be made aware of his/her aptitude for such skills, and the career options available to him/her which utilize such skills. The presence of a school career counsellor will act as a bridge between school and career. A child will be more aware of the several career paths that he/she may walk down and how his/her skills are apt for those careers that he/she may have never even considered. 

Good education and career guidance can help students pick the path less trodden that he/she might enjoy better and excel at. It can help students discover their potential and create employment for more by creating something. The possibilities are endless, but it all has to begin now. 

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