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The skill focus

Why school systems should shift their focus to developing skills

The objective of Education is the same for all syllabi followed – to prepare students for success in the real world. There are many syllabi available out there to choose from – IB, iGCSE, CBSE etc. But there is only one world of work. All systems of education, whether IB, iGCSE or CBSE, lead to the same world of work. In that practical and real world, which syllabus a student followed is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is whether you have the skills required to succeed.

Imagine going for your first job interview. Does the interviewer ask about what you learnt in Physics or in Chemistry or in Biology? No. The questions asked are: Can you write well? Can you present in front of people? Can you hold a knife steady when you operate on a person? Can you create something out of nothing? None of these relate to what you study.

The other important point to note is that skills cannot be built in a short time either – they need to be developed over many, many years. Once this is clear, one quickly realizes that facts and concepts learnt are not as important as skill building.

Therefore schools need to shift their focus to skill building. The reason why 70% of engineering graduates in India are unemployable is because of a lack of the skills required. Knowledge comes second.