Nepal | September 24, 2020

Soft skills: All what matters in education

Nirjala Poudel
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Students today basically need to learn soft skills like problem solving skills. With this skill, they can tackle any situation in life more easily. This happens when a student learns to be creative. Creativity matters to each child, but it is not the final product, but a process, a journey. And more than how much talent a student has in him, it’s about how many skills children learn

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/THT

Education is facilitating learning or acquiring knowledge so that a person can be prepared for the present as well as the future. It is considered fundamental to developmental growth in any individual. Soft skills are the general essential skills that a human needs for surviving in any situation with proper adjustment qualities. It is a combination of  general skills, social skills, communication skills, personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence, which help to navigate their environment, coordinate with the team, best understand the situation, and achieve the best desired goals. It consists of desirables qualities along with certain knowledge, including common sense and adjustment.

When we judge the past scenario, we can see students with a formal qualification from the best institutions and with the best scores getting the best jobs. Still such type of formal education exists, but what about bringing a change in the education system where we can make our kids understand what skills they have from an early age so that they know what they are good at instead of parrot learning and leaving them confused after graduation?

We live in a generation where information is easily accessible. Things are changing rapidly, and so the demand and need for knowledge have been scaled up. Due to the rapid development of technology, manual work is being replaced by technology and machines.

Over two-thirds of the current jobs will not exist in the world a little over a decade from now. This is why it is essential to provide young kids an education in better understanding technology from a creative point of view to enhance their creativity level. Education prefers to come with innovation.

It is essential that students understand the practical aspects in a creative way from early childhood so that they can choose the best in their life.

The World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of the primary level students in our schools today will be employed in jobs which don’t exist yet. This is an alarming sign, so we need to go for practical-based education for our future generation. The kids today need to learn dynamic skills rather than attend a formal education to prepare them for the future. Creativity, critical thinking, leadership, problem-solving skills, communication skills and life skills are
the basic skills the present education demands of our students.

The next generation will replace humans with the most amazing technology progresses, and we must prepare our children for this in our schools today.

As we look at the cost of the present education system, by the time a student completes graduation, he will be in debt. It is comparatively expensive, and it is beyond the capacity of most citizens. Even then, these graduates from expensive institutions will not be able to satisfy the market need to the optimum level. It simply means the market need is changing rapidly, and we are not able to provide a good education to our kids and prepare them for the emerging market.

Many organisations are reporting that the present graduates are not leaving higher education with the proper skills the present world demands of them. This does not mean that the kids should be prepared for employment from early childhood, but they should be educated in such a way that they can fit into the market and be prepared for any challenging situation.

Students today basically need to learn soft skills like problem solving skills. With this skill, they can tackle any situation in life more easily. This happens when a student learns to be creative. Creativity matters to each child, but it is not the final product, but a process, a journey. And more than how much talent a student has in him, it’s about how many skills or how much knowledge children learn on the way to the final outcome. This is why, the children need to be lifelong learners, and for this, he must be able to learn it himself.

education system should make them understand and identify who they are, what excites them, what triggers them, only then can they make their own mark in school and the society itself. Education is not just an art, it is the inclusion of knowledge and skills that the next industrial revolution is looking for. This ultimately will happen when they can  learn with innovation, rely on open resources, brush up on the technical knowledge, and keep abreast of current trends and advances in the chosen fields.

It is important to bring change in the learning environment to our kids. It
is essential to create the
environment for them so that they can be creative, social, build up strong emotional intelligence and make them solve the problems themselves. Where there is change, change brings more and more opportunities. Let the change occur, and let the young people get a chance to learn outside the classroom. Let them experience the real world, and let them be more innovative and creative.

Poudel is a teacher at Budhanilkantha School

A version of this article appears in print on January 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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