• Harshada Desai

Education, Employability and Vocational Training

The needs of our country - India, are still very primitive. We are still trying (very hard if I must say) to combat sanitation, poverty, bring electricity and clean drinking water to people. The belief is, the long term solution to these grave problems of India is ‘education and especially the education of the ‘girl child’.

Quest Alliance in partnership with government schools is preparing young girls for a future. They are being taught life skills such as how to give a successful interview, the importance of having necessary communication skills and how to be professional at a workplace. Along with creating a support network (peers & trainers), these young girls are taught to express themselves, be confident, the dream bigger life goals and eventually create an impact within their families and community they live in. Is this a start to inclusive growth? And ultimately the cure for our country’s primitive problems? Where does one begin?

When I pose this question to Sunita, a vocational trainer, she has an immediate answer. Education on subjects like computer skills, English literacy and numeracy does not make one employable. They need qualities such as self-confidence, persistence, curiosity and initiative. By making young women employable, we are giving them a chance at coming out of poverty and in turn raising their standard of living, eradicating things such as sanitation issues and eventually raise the overall growth of the country.

Government schools like Sarvodaya Kanya Vidhyalaya are implementing vocational training to empower young teenage girls by helping them dream of economic self-sufficiency. It is granted that a good education is vital. Educational reform is also a must for our country but it is just one component that needs fixing in the systemic change that we are awaiting in our demographically diverse ‘Digital India’.

My interaction with the class made me wonder if employability, instead of formal education is the right approach to inclusive growth? Will this approach be critical to help the country meet the challenge of lifting millions of young people in India?

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