Published: 11th February 2023
Groom youth to keep pace with changing times, NS Parthasarathy and Nararayan Swamy speak at ThinkEdu 2023
Ramaswamy also pointed out that while the National Education Policy (NEP) focuses on being learner-centric than teacher-centric, an appropriate ecosystem needs to be created to honour this change
An exclusive session to deliberate on 'Careers Ahead' for students was empanelled by many a thought leader at the 11th edition of the ThinkEdu Conclave in Chennai. The discussion was helmed by senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai with the Managing Partner of Mela Ventures Parthasarathy NS and National Leader - Education and Skill Development at KPMG India Narayanan Ramaswamy lending their expertise on how the education system in India could adapt to the demands of a fast-changing world.
Speaking at the event, Ramaswamy emphasised that there is an urgent need to understand the pace of change the world demands and the asks our educational institutions need to adapt to in order to ensure future generations are current in their outlook and offerings. “Change has always been there but now there has been an increased acceleration in the pace of change. We should be cognizant of the pace of the change and I am worried whether our educational institutions are keeping pace with that change. Are we changing at the pace the world is changing,” he asked. Ramaswamy also pointed out that while the National Education Policy (NEP) focuses on being learner-centric than teacher-centric, an appropriate ecosystem needs to be created to honour this change. The multiple entry points and exit points proposed in our education need to be smoothly implemented to create the desired effect.
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Another point that garnered the audience's attention was the need for a youngster to constantly upskill and re-skill themselves during one's professional journey. Mela Ventures Managing Partner Parthasarathy urged the youth to keep upskilling themselves to avoid being obsolete in the future. “Many in their youth feel learning ends upon acquiring a degree. In fact, that is when learning begins," he said while speaking on the need for a continual learning programme to be integrated into professional development. Parthasarathy further added that learning is a two-way street. If companies are focusing on upskilling, the employees should also keep honing their skills. Otherwise, they will be left to deal with the downside of attrition. Urging youth not to worry about layoffs, Parthasarathy said the trend is nothing new for the world and it is part of the economy that is impacted by many global factors.
The panelists' concern was towards the decline in creating an atmosphere of nurturing curiosity among students. “We are suppressing thinking among youngsters. We are spoon-feeding our students so much that they have stopped thinking,” said Parthasarathy. Both speakers stressed the need to make our youth ready to meet the challenges of life and work by ensuring holistic learning is imparted. While Parthasarathy pointed out that the current pedagogy system, which rests on four pillars such as the classrooms, syllabus, proctored examination, and the guru, an additional element of digital learning needs to be included. Ramaswamy highlighted the need to introduce holistic learning in our school curriculum as well. He added that holistic learning includes physical learning, intellectual and spiritual learning along with academic learning. “We have to focus on life readiness and work readiness. Though our institutions are working towards preparing our youth for work, we are yet to prepare them for life."
The duo also fielded questions on many aspects related to career development, Parthasarathy and Ramaswamy spoke on the need to promote generational diversity in workplaces in India.