Job Ready Graduates
Sohan Tiwade Motivational Speaker & Corporate Soft Skills Trainer | the education magazine

We are all familiar with the story of the 2 Woodcutters. One was very effective and was promoted and his salary raised, while the other lagged behind despite of his hard work. Naturally the lagger felt unjustified and questioned the management of not raising his salary but they said they would glad to do so if he increases his output of cutting trees like the other employee. Finally after much trying and failing, he summoned up the courage to ask the other guy his secret of being effective and his reply left him spell bound! He said, ‘After every tree I cut, I take 2 minutes rest and sharpen my axe, when was the last time you sharpened yours?’

Today in the din and bustle of going through the educational grind many of our students forget to sharpen their very necessary skills that can make them employable. It is estimated that approximately 30,00,000 to 50,00,000 graduates come out of our Indian universities and institutes every year and as per  a news article by Times of India on March 6, 2018 there are about 31 million graduates looking for jobs and unemployed. In this article I purpose to give some suggestion that if practiced can help us alleviate the problem of producing unemployed graduates through our Universities and Institutes.

Holistic Educational Approach– A paradigmatic change in how we approach our students and nurture them is very vital in improving their quality and making them job ready. Today’s education system doesn’t cater to the holistic personality of the students. As humans, students are primarily made of 4 parts viz. Mind, Body, Hear and Spirit. Sadly today our education system seems to cater to only the Mind part and we may have some extracurricular activities to help them nurture their Physique or Body. Even the education system while catering to mind just inclines to rote learning and reproducing without any focus on creativity and innovation and so the dismal number of researches and research publications in our universities and institutes.

The Heart: To cure all this I believe we need to start with the Heart. Many of the students out there in our institutes and universities are just following a crowd. Just because a certain course promises good job and good package, many of them blindly follow the crowd when their heart is not in it! We need systems in our education system where we need to guide students to find out their passion. If a student loves what he or she does automatically his mind will be fully involved in it. Also the need to stop elevating some courses over the others is the need of the hour so that peer pressure doesn’t influence one’s decision while choosing a career. So the first thing we need to help our students is to sincerely answer the question- ‘Do I really love what I am doing?’

The Mind: When we talk of involving the mind of the students, our educational system should stop discriminating on the basis of marks earned in examination. Marks gained in examination are not all and they don’t indicate the possibilities and potential that the student many possess to make it big in life and that’s why they say, ‘The first benchers learn to pass a school exam but the last benchers learn to pass the exam of life! We all know that life first furnishes the experience and then gives the lessons. So involving the mind means to help them learn by themselves, giving them the experience to try, do, fail, repeat and succeed and then also to learn from their experience. A popular scientist attributed his success in life to his mother who never made him feel guilty when he failed. Once when as a child he made a mess of a milk bottle by spilling the contents, his mother let him play in it the mess and then taught him to clean it up afterwards that left an indelible positive impression on his mind. So when involving the Mind, it should be not a top – bottom learning method rather a more level learning field where the teacher becomes facilitator to help the student gain the experience and learn and both enrich their learning in the process. When we talk of Mind, students’ need to ask- Is my learning broadening my Mind?

The Body:  is another important aspect of the student. We all reside in our bodies and if our graduates don’t have fit bodies and bodies free from all forms of abuses, then we will be producing poor quality graduates. Our education system should incorporate the importance of right eating habits, awareness of dangers of abusing the bodies with intoxicating substances, importance of practices like Yoga, Meditation, Workout etc. Physical aspect should be made aware of primarily as what the students do and study finally should give them the means to earn their bread to nurture their bodies! When involving in studies, students in educational institutes should be taught to master their bodies and the urges of their bodies so that they come out as disciplined individuals who care for the society. The question to ask regarding this area for a student is- Is my learning also involving the importance of my body and will it give me the means to earn for my living and thriving in the future?

The Spirit: The last but not the least aspect that we need to focus on is the Spirit that is signified by the Conscience. Conscience is there to guide and tell us whether we are on the right path. Many times we need to exchange a clock for compass for many of our students are headed quickly for nowhere! We may learn to manage time but then have a lost sense of direction. It is failure of incorporating Conscience in our educational system that  produce graduates who can fall prey to organizations that use their skills to produce bombs and kill people! “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad”, quoted Theodore Roosevelt. Education that incorporates the Universal principles that are found in all religions, great philosophies and literature will sensitize our youths to a way of life what Abraham Maslow termed as ‘Self Actualization’. Education not to serve self interest but to be all that one is meant to be so that he or she can be of use for the society, nation and the world! The question students need to ask here is – Does my learning head me in the right direction?

Conclusion: Education is a great tool to transform society if it is rightly channelized to help students realize their true selves and bring out their best. If Education incorporates learning that caters to their Mind, Body, Heart and Spirit, we can churn out graduates who are accomplished in every sense; the organizations who absorb them will find them to effective in accomplishing their organizational goals, society will have youths who contribute to its welfare, nation will have nation – builders and the world will be a better place when the next graduates walk out of our institutes and universities.

Sohan Tiwade.

About The Author

Sohan Tiwade is a Motivational Speaker and Corporate Soft Skills Trainer. He runs a Program ‘The Edge’ helping many professionals find their best selves. He is the recipient of ‘State Level Best Motivational Speaker’ by Aavishkar Foundation, Kolhapur. He is also an English lecturer & Soft Skills Trainer at Sanjay Ghodawat Institutes. He lives in Kolhapur with his wife Loveleena, a lecturer in English and his daughter Jemimah is pursuing her studies.

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