What Oil is to Middle East, Nature is to Europe, Wild life is to Africa, Youth is to India..
Hence in reality IT means Indian Talent. We as country are blessed with abundance of this crucial resource (young population). Are we treating it like a Capital or wasting it like a liability? Formal Academic System (within its limitations) is trying to develop this resource. But attempts have to be made by students and parents for Self Development. We need to come out of old mindset of “Examination, marks and Degree is everything and rest is not so important.”. Digital world today provides equal access of information to all and reliance of memory based assessment model is proving futile all over the world. Instead of checking memory skills , more important is application of Knowledge and Skills to solve Real life problems (business as well as personal life). This has more utility value.
If ultimate aim is to become a successful professional/entrepreneur or an executive in some leading firm then radical change is needed in our mindset and attitude.
This is where we need to treat student as a learner and learning to be an ongoing process where in input can come from anywhere in any form from any person. Academia is one of the sources and other sources are present in Real life. In this context forced interval called vacation needs to be relooked at. We are still following old British favored model of Summer vacations. In reality what we need in India is Monsoon Vacation since in many parts of India commuting becomes impossible due to water logging and excess rains. Schools/Colleges are required to give forced holidays due to these reasons anyways. Come vacation break and young minds get busy into various things.. But time has come to look at r vacation as an Opportunity for personality development. One of my childhood friend used to look at it as a Punishment as his parents used to force him to look after their family run business and spend at least 8 hours every day over there .Same friend now is a Successful Entrepreneur and he once confessed to us that “He owes his success to those 10 years of summer vacations” . There is a Lesson for all in his example.
Look at Vacation as an opportunity to enhance Skills , obtain new certifications, learn new hobbies/art or a sport and improve personality . One can treat Trekking/hiking expedition also as a part of leaning process. But our priorities need to change.
Why not Enhance Livelihood skills in Vacation. Do we know that Skills like Cooking, Driving, Digital Gadget maintenance, Debating, Theatre workshop, Learning a foreign language in addition to improving English can make a long term impact on your future . Depending on your aptitude and branch of education also acquire a certification in real life domain e.g .,Commerce students should learn tricks of GST working in a small business.
In Western countries after 16 , every student believes in ‘Learn while your Earn” and that process forces them to become Self Reliant and Business/Profession oriented. It is a universal fact independent of financial position of parents. No job is small in this context. Daughter of a formal president of USA was once seen working as a Waitress in a Pizza chain. In fact time has come for formal education system to allot some credits to vacations and positive enhancements in learner’s skill/personality profile should be given outcome based credit points. Even parents should be asking students about Personality Development plans in instead of treating it like a No action Bench period.
Pune city is blessed with large number of start ups and small businesses and all these are “Skill Development and Learning Centers” who will surely welcome if students (Interns) approach them with a clear goal of learning business processes while contributing some meaningful value to their business as well.
Author is an IT entrepreneur, author and Digital Literacy activist