The education industry went from chalk-and-talk learning to online-powered lessons in a blink of an eye. With the rapid adoption of technology, education today has become more holistic and engaging in nature. In the past, a university degree would be sufficient for a student to secure a job whereas, in present times recruiters seek employees who are proficient in soft skills. One of the most crucial traits that parents seek to groom in their children in modern times is communication and confidence.
Schools and ed-tech platforms are focusing on incorporating soft skills in the curriculum and providing training for spoken English, as the lack of these skills among the students has proven a significant roadblock in exploring opportunities. A growing emphasis is being placed on developing people skills and flexibility within students for them to have successful careers.
Applied knowledge and soft skills are more necessary to both survive and disrupt in today's world where life has become unpredictable more than ever. As a result of ed-tech businesses, the world has been rebuilt, shifting from rote learning to analytical reasoning. Along with standard educational programs, skills like strategic thinking, creativity, originality, and complicated problem-solving with a solution-oriented approach are more in demand. Leaders, today are expected to possess strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
It is possible to teach soft skills through the prudent use of digital tools. Digital platforms, for example, encourage collaboration between learners and thus allow them to work in a team. This will help students to hone their interpersonal skills, improve their academic performance, can monitor self-productivity
Fostering soft skills through technology-based solutions
Often, educational institutions don't teach soft skills due to their already overburdened curriculums. Digital learning can inculcate soft skills in a far more effective manner, leveraging technology. Ed-tech start-ups use interactive tools, gamification, and activity-driven group programs to impart soft skills.
The future of innovation in the ed-tech sector is gamification. Gamified learning could be improved with the inclusion of AI, Big Data, cloud technologies, IoT, mobile learning, and VR. This supports the use of game-based learning techniques in the classroom to maintain students' interest in the subject matter. Additionally, because it encourages students to utilize their creativity, gamification enhances the likelihood that instructional concepts will be applied practically. Gamified practices would make it easier for professors to teach students since they would provide a thorough introduction to real-world applications of the subject matter.
Due to their immersive and engaging nature, the lessons have a far higher probability of being retained by the students. The simulation modules encourage improvisation, just like on-the-job training does. Additionally, these modules can be highly customized and typically presented in smaller groups for optimum attention.
NEP's role in fostering students' skill development
A reform that is expected to bring the Indian educational market to its peak by introducing vocational education from the sixth grade and establishing the National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE). The National Education Policy is expected to give students a wide range of viable career options as well as lessen the social stigma attached to contemplating vocation as a career option.
NEP 2020 emphasizes employability and recognizes the importance of education in equipping students with the necessary skill sets. Through this program, the government hopes to fulfil the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to guarantee universal access to inclusive and equitable education and to encourage possibilities for lifelong learning.
It encourages a shift away from the traditional rote, content-heavy learning method and focuses on holistic learning. In addition to science and math, it instils a creative, multidisciplinary curriculum that places equal emphasis on other disciplines including the humanities, sports, fitness, languages, culture, and the arts.
The National Education Policy 2020 also acknowledges the significance of soft skills as essential life abilities, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, analytical thinking, resiliency, etc. The program employs a method that imparts academic knowledge. However, for students to advance in their professional trajectory, leadership qualities are also inculcated alongside it.
Due to education’s immersive and engaging design, the lessons have a far higher probability of being retained by the students. Ed-tech start-ups are unleashing students' potential starting at the elementary level. Deeper, longer-lasting experiences are made possible by ongoing learning. They create cutting-edge programmes to tap into a child's creativity and inventiveness so they can develop a healthy, all-encompassing personality. Technology has redefined the educational sector for both conventional, and mainstream courses as well as alternative courses by making education more accessible. It has opened door to endless possibilities.
(About the author: Harshil Gala is the Chief Executive Officer of Navneet TopTech a fast-growing ed-tech company that focuses on rendering eLearning solutions to schools in India. Harshil has led eSense through significant and rapid growth to emerge as the largest digital learning solution provider to top schools in India. He joined eSense in 2011 as a management intern and rose to the rank of Chief Executive Officer. In his role as CEO of eSense, he is responsible for overall growth, and expansion, and is in charge of developing key business strategies. Since taking charge as CEO, he has been instrumental in launching the CBSE curriculum and LMS, making eSense a national player. He holds a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Nottingham, UK, and a Bachelor of Management Studies from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. Harshil is based out of Mumbai, India.)