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UNICEF foresees and warns of skill deficit in half of Indian students for 21st century jobs

While the development of 21st century skills in the students is being globally recognized as a benchmark of quality education, a recent report by UNICEF comes as a startling disappointment for educators and policymakers alike. It has been reported by the international agency that the Indian students are found substantially lacking in the 21st century skill acquisition, based on which a projection has been made that over 50% of the country’s students will be unemployable by 2030 in the jobs which require such skills.

In India, 53% of students will pass out of senior secondary schools without acquiring 21st century skills and hence will struggle to find a decent occupation. According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India stands at 8.45% and this is not likely to improve if measures are not taken to remedy the schooling scenario.

The warning is valid for the entire South Asia and as India is the largest country and economy, the facts are especially relevant for the country.

According to the Global Business Coalition for Education’s (GBC) 2030 education skill scorecard, 19% of India’s youth meet the learning benchmark and by 2030 the figure would be around only 47%.

According to the UNICEF head, Hanrieeta H. Fore, 100,000 youth in South Asia enter the labour market every year and with the given skill deficit they are unable to ,and will be unable to, find decent employment. The demographic dividend that the countries should ideally reap is thus lapsed.

The slowdown is upon the Indian economy and industries like auto, telecom and IT are in throes of it. The current unemployment rate of 8.45% is expected to worsen in this scenario.

The IT giants like Infosys, Capgemini and Cognizant are reportedly set to slash 500 senior level jobs and employees of BSNL vendors, as many as 100,000, are facing job insecurity as the telecom giant is grappling with dues to the tune of 200 billion rupees.

HRD minister Smriti Irani announced that measures will be initiated to skill India’s youth within 10 -24 yrs age group. In collaboration with UNICEF, 300 million will be trained.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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