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Role of ‘Education and Training’ in skill development

Introduction

For the sustainable development of nation, “education for all” and employment generating “skill development” are the fundamental requirements.  India has all the basic resources – men (nearly 35% are the youth having some talent or the other), money and material. The only problem is to utilize the three by providing ‘education to all’ and honing their natural talents/skills through proper training. For yielding better results, it is necessary that along with honing professional skills in youth, inculcating discipline and civility  should also be an integral part of education and training scheme.

Need for sound system of education and training – There has been a growing realization, in the recent years, all over the world that both ‘Education and Training’ play a very important role in skill development of youth, which together impart knowledge, shape attitudes, cultivate skills, build work-habits, and thus enable people to meet the challenges of modern times.

Present scenario in 21st century – World-over, almost all the national governments are facing in full blast many problems, especially after the ‘great economic depression’ of 2008. It is the time to make full efforts to improve economic situation, continuous modernization, higher productivity, improvement in the quality of service. In turn, it demands more trained people in all the spheres to increase productivity, and effectiveness and efficiency in service.

Necessity to impart new knowledge and new skills – The more the problems, better equipped should be the people to face the challenges and meet new demands. Not only that new challenges are being faced by the modern governments, knowledge in this space age, is growing faster than ability of individuals to handle it, especially after the info-tech revolution. Therefore, there is a necessity to impart new knowledge and new skills and to inculcate new attitudes in the people through a well-planned and systematic arrangement of education and training. A well-planned sound system of education and training could enable people to contribute to and guide the social changes and development into desired direction and help them to achieve the goals within time and cost parameters.

Issue – Generally people do not understand the distinction between education and training and its impact on work-culture. Education has unfortunately been misunderstood as something formal going to educational institutions schools/colleges for academic or theoretical studies, and acquiring degrees/diplomas/certificates. They expect that it would get them a respectable place in the world of modern callings. In a mindset, where Education is degree-oriented, there are always certain gaps between learning and practical requirement. Without Training these gaps remain unfilled. It is here that training becomes relevant. Therefore it becomes necessary to understand what education and training means?

Education and training, intertwined – Both education and training are intertwined in such a way that without one or the other, it is practically impossible/very difficult to cope with the challenges of modern world. Whereas education helps students to choose and decide their activity, training helps them to improve their performance in it. Education deals mostly with knowledge and understanding, training with understanding and skill. Training prepares to deal with the complexities of real work-life – pressures, limited resources, choices uncertainties and conflicting motives etc.


Role of education and training in skill development –
Thus, education covers the necessity of modifying behaviour, attitudes and beliefs. It develops an understanding about social and economic position and about public affairs in general. Training cultivates skills and build work-habits. It confines itself to the study of job-skills and knowledge related to a person’s immediate functions.

Education

Meaning of education – (‘Neti, Neti’ meaning unending process) Education is a continuous process and is identified with the complete up-bringing of the individual from the childhood. Education/learning never ends. It is a life-long/continuous process for complete upbringing of the individual right from his birth to death. At each and every, an individual learns something. Education is neither for a fixed period nor look only for theoretical or academic pursuits leading towards award of degrees/diplomas and certificates.

A relentless process – It is, indeed, difficult to define education. Education is a relentless process of becoming. It is growth and consciousness. A sound system of education develops the power of concentration, the capacity of attention and observation. It ensures physical, intellectual, emotional and ethical integration of an individual. It can be said that the ultimate aim of education is to establish a just and equitable social order, where every individual shall have opportunities to grow to one’s fullest stature, so that he may be able to contribute his utmost to the social well-being.

Develops mental and moral faculties – The development of the mental and moral faculties, which has a material bearing on the formation of character is the task of education. In its wider sense, it embraces reading, observation, thought and its proper application in real life. `Education’ helps a person to increase knowledge, under-standing and attitude, so they are better adjusted to their surroundings.

Education generates confidence – An educated person is sure of his knowledge and is keen to know more. He/she is able to create new knowledge and transmit it to others; to discriminate between right and wrong, to be honest in his dealings with others. He/she can resist evil and exploitation and work for the establishment of a peaceful, just, healthy and happy social order. He/she has a rational outlook and is able to resolve personal conflicts realistically. He owns responsibility and faces consequences; is bold and upright in the presentation of his views; appreciates other people’s point of views, qualities and virtues; and is fully conscious of his real self and his place in cosmos.

Purpose of education – The purpose of education, is human excellence, improvement in the form of thought and action and full control over one’s objective self. Human excellence needs to be conditioned by the prevailing norms of human behaviour in a particular society and is, therefore, a relative concept. As it is, the term `Education’ aims at increasing knowledge, understanding and attitudes of the candidates, so that they are better adjusted to their environment. It develops mental and moral faculties, which have a material bearing on the formation of character. In its wider sense it embraces reading, observation and thought.

Scope of education – Within its jurisdiction, it embraces the formation of habits, manners and character, and mental and physical aptitude. Education also opens out the world of job-market to students, so that they can choose their occupation/career and mode of living according to their interests, attitude and aptitude. The scope of education is much broader than of training.

Levels of formal education – Formal education is usually imparted –

1. Before entering into job-market and

2.After employment

Before entering into job-market – Before entering into job-market, the main aim of formal education is learning on the basis of study of facts, principles and data. A regular contact between ‘Teachers’ and ‘Students’ is primary, everything else gives way to it. It follows a set pattern and is generally conducted at three levels:

I. Primary education at School Level – School level education gives more importance to character forming. Its main task is of implanting in the minds of young children those values and attitudes that will influence their entire perception of life.

ii. Higher education at Secondary level and at University level – Higher level education at College or University level promotes innovative attitudes and depth of perception. It prepares workers/personnel for different occupations be general, technical or professional or medical. The lacunae in formal higher education is that it is academic in nature and teaches students about events, which are remote. The curriculum still remains purely theoretical and away from real life-situation.

Education after entering into a job – Understanding of various aspects of a specific occupation/profession is the chief objective of education after entering into a job. It is based more on “common-sense” approach. It is based on experiences gained, while dealing with the immediate, real, practical and specific needs/problems of different kinds of occupations/professions. Its programs are seldom definite and do not follow any routine. What is learned is usually applied immediately. It moulds and refines the attitudes of students to deal properly with challenges and hazards of real occupational life.

After completing the formal education, people generally enters into the world of work. At this stage, one realizes the value of training –formal or on the job.

Training

Role of training – Training is one of the primary means of building up competence and effectiveness of workers/employees all over the world. It provides participants with broad understanding of various facets of their respective work. Whether it is a developed nation or an underdeveloped or developing nation, training becomes necessary for action required for achieving desired goals.

Meaning of training – Training is job-specific. It enables people to apply knowledge in their real work life. It is primarily concerned with preparing the people for certain lines of action, which are delineated by technology and by the occupation, in which he engaged. It is an approach to improve the output – quantitatively and qualitatively. It is a process, by which the attitudes, skills and abilities of trainees to perform specific jobs are increased. It hones natural talents of the people and prepares them to skills, which they do not possess, but are necessary for doing their jobs efficiently, of which they are a part.

Training, a self-generating action – There was a time when force was used for getting a job done or for a change, but effect of ‘force’ is short-lived. It is only training, which can lead to sustained, self-generating action. Capacity-building through training promises inculcating that expertise which is essential for using modern technologies properly. It is essential for economic development as well. It inculcates flexibility in action through understanding and confidence, inventiveness, initiative and ability to make decisions and also respect for the contributions of others and readiness for collaboration with others.

Objectives of training – There are different and specific objectives for different occupations and organizations at different levels. In any profession, training at initial level cultivates skills for specific jobs. At middle and senior levels stress is on human development. Obviously, development of the human resources at this level would require cultivation of the mind; cultivation of the heart to enable trainees to acquire adequate social sensitivities and appropriate patriotic zeal and public spiritedness; and the cultivation of right attitudes and behaviour patterns towards the job, toward the seniors, towards the juniors and ultimately towards the people at large. At higher level personnel need to be trained in the art of rational and quick decision making.

There is a general consensus on the following aims of training –

  • To produce employees, whose precision and clarity in the transaction of business can be taken for granted.
  • To attune employees for the tasks, they are called upon to perform in this fast-changing modern world. It constantly and boldly adjusts their outlook and methods to the new needs of the new times.
  • Not to allow workers to fall into the trap of becoming mechanized. A new entrant, from the start, is made aware of the relation of his work to the service rendered by profession/occupation to the community. The capacity to see what he is doing is a wider setting makes the work not only valuable to his organization but more stimulating to himself.
  • To direct, not only for enabling an individual to perform the current work more efficiently, but also equipping him for other duties and appropriately develop his capacity for higher work and greater responsibility.
  • To develop and maintain morale of workers to offset the dull monotony of routine work.
  • To inculcate right attitude towards others occupations.

Training at higher level needs to focused, additionally, on:

 • Improving the capacity of making correct judgements and take timely decisions;
• Increasing the willingness and ability to accept responsibility, to delegate authority and to develop subordinates;
• Developing an appreciation of the value of time and efforts of others;
• Developing a concept of personal integrity and public responsibility.

Informal training – Informal training (on the job) is learning on the job. It has been the traditional method of training for the workers engaged in different occupations. Earlier it was considered that any worker in any occupation, having common-sense, sense of judgement, attitude and aptitude for that particular work can understand the essentials, tricks and trade and responsibilities of the profession well to do the job well. Therefore,  informal training was the way to train workers/professionals for any work.
• Learn from their mistakes – Informal training as has been said earlier, is training individuals on-job so that they could learn from one’s own mistakes, and acquires required skill through practice. It is a continuing process running through the entire career span of an individual. There are no set procedures for informal training. It automatically comes out of day today relationships between an employee and his colleagues in horizontal formation, between an employee and his juniors in downward vertical formation and between an employee and his seniors in upward vertical formation at meetings of professional associates or reading and study that a person does on his own initiative or at his superior’s suggestion.
• Responsibility of seniors – Since such a training is not backed by compulsion, but is more or less self-inspired, motivation is necessary. Besides, the ultimate success of informal or on-the-job training depends upon the interest, experience, sincerity, knowledge, skills and attitudes of the co-workers, especially seniors.
• Seniors to spare time to train new-comers – It is necessary in the interest of a profession/occupation that its seniors find out some time to devote on youth working under them, so that the later can achieve something from the experiences of their seniors. If seniors are not able to guide and train their juniors properly, due to one reason or the other, very little positive results can be achieved. It, however, should not lead to the situation of “spoon-feeding”. It should be a judicious mixture of self-observation and guidance by seniors.
In modern times, complete reliance on on-job training not desirable – Complete reliance on on-the-job training – a training by trial and error, alone is neither possible nor desirable. In the present space age, when knowledge is growing faster than one’s ability to handle it, it can perpetuate outmoded methods of work, generate resistance to change and reform. Therefore, a well organized system of formal training becomes necessary.
Formal Training – Formal training aims at inculcating skills by well-defined courses at proper stages in one’s career as also updating the stock of initial skills or knowledge. Formal training can be divided into following groups –
a. Pre-entry training- :- The purpose of pre-entry training is to prepare trainees for different kinds of work in general, as requirement of various organizations dealing with same profession vary widely. Education given in vocational/professional institutions may be called as pre-entry training. Pre-entry training is available for professionals as Engineers doctors, managers, accountants, lawyers, etc.
b. Orientation or foundation training: Foundation training program equips a new recruit with conceptual, technical and human relation skills as applied to the organization, he joins. In any occupation, where pre-entry training facility is not available, foundation training program becomes necessary to orient and model the new recruits. Foundation training also brings the professionals, drawn from heterogeneous segments of society with divergent educational and cultural backgrounds, together in present scenario. Foundational training program may range in duration from a few weeks to a couple of years. Some of the main objectives of foundation training could be:
– To acquaint the new recruit with the people, with whom he has to work, and the atmosphere, in which he has to work. It helps him to know the rules, regulations, privileges, hour of work, leave, pay-days etc., within a short period;
– To familiarize him quickly with some of the history and general objectives of his organization and its relation to the rest of the departments/Ministry;
– To prepare and make available to the new recruits list of materials and references that he needs to become familiar with the job;
– To explain the new employee the organizational set-up of his work-place, with its lines of authority, so that he may know to whom he is to report, from whom he is to take directions and the limits of his responsibilities;
– To help the new entrant to analyze his position, the analysis should include a list of various duties of the position, why each is important, how to do it and some measure to know how well it has been done;
– To develop in the employee the habit of taking his requests for information, his problems and difficulties to his seniors/more experienced persons for solutions.
In-service Training or training while on job:- To take over the training tasks initiated by foundational training and to fill in the gaps inherent in the informal process of on-the-job training, in-service training comes into the picture. In-service training is a development of a very recent origin as against foundation training, which has been around for a longer time. In government, training has come to be greatly valued in recent years because of the growing awareness that developing countries need to improve their administrative capability in order to achieve their national developmental objectives.
Difference between foundation and in-service training – Though both kinds of training aim, broadly, to achieve improvements in the quality of working, the difference between them are striking. Foundation training aims to introduce the new entrant in the profession about the working environment of their occupation and prepares them for responsibilities, they are to shoulder in the coming years. The aim of in-service training is to give to the persons already in world of jobs exposure to new developments in relevant fields, so that they are able to cope with the changes in the world of work. Basic subjects and fundamentals of work are the main course content of the foundation training, whereas it becomes more specialized in in-service training, as participants have acquired work experience.
In today’s environment, the pace of change has accelerated tremendously. Knowledge acquired through training at the starting point in career would be inadequate to deal with the present situation, which is constantly in a state of flux. Also, Foundation training occurs only once at the beginning of the career. In-service training may occur at several points during one’s career. It may not even occur at all in one’s career. It has been felt that training can-not remain a one shot affair. One need exposure to training at several points during one’s career.
In-service training to fill the `gap’ between the “required” – In=service training programs are essentially designed to fill the `gap’ between the “required” and the “available” performance levels in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits. It either enables the civil servants to perform their “existing” duties and functions effectively or prepares them to assure responsibilities on promotions to higher positions competently. It becomes necessary for the new job responsibilities to be created in response to the organizational functional or technological changes.
Role of in-service training – In-service training provides one way, in which the organization can assist the individual employee to develop his abilities. The need for training after entering into job-market service is particularly apparent in the present scenario. New skills and orientations needs to be constantly acquired by the employees for the rapid introduction of new programs, the utilization of new technology and changing the environment, where they work for better future. The importance of training programs goes even beyond the need for specialized skills or information on new policies. Through training employees develop awareness about the expectations of the people, government or their respective organization from them.
Difference between the methods of foundation and in-service training – The teaching methods of foundation training are same as those in use in universities, colleges with minor modifications (attachments, visits etc.). Methods used for in-service training are participative, inviting more involvement of the trainees in the learning process through discussions etc. Participation is obligatory in the case of foundation training, whereas in the case of in-service training participants have a choice. Groups of large number are fairly common on foundation training, whereas it is limited purposely in in-service training.
Shorter duration of in-service training – The duration of foundation course is usually long. In the case of in-service training it is necessarily of a shorter duration.
In-service training is concept-based or technique-based – In-service training is an opportunity for formal training provided at appropriate time intervals in appropriate areas, either concept based or technique based. It provides the basic input for raising levels of performance and efficiency in administration and for improving its health and culture. It is a systematic process, designed to help the participants to develop professional knowledge, job-oriented skills and the desired attitudes to enable them to function efficiently and effectively thereby fulfilling the organization’s goals and objectives.
A tough job – The main objective of the in-service training is to replace old unproductive habits by productive ones. The risk of training already on job people is much more complex difficult than that of training new entrants. New entrants are not conversant with the situation and do not possess any experience with regard to the functioning of government. Hence whatever instructions are given to them are taken for granted. It is a kind of intrusion into an existing pattern of behaviour or belief. This creates resistance to change. With a view to making in-service training effective, it is essential to “unlearn” old habits, which are to be replaced by new ones. This is only possible, if trainees are exposed to new learning in such a way that it does not create much ambivalence between previous habits and the new ones desired.
Post-entry training: Post entry training is not directly related to the work of the trainee, but it ultimately helps the organization. Continuing education and training is a phenomenon recently emerging worldwide. Organizations are encouraging their executives to take study leave to enable them to keep themselves abreast of new or emerging trends in management/administration. The aim of executive learning programs broadens the mental horizons of the top executives and managers and equip them with realistic, practical public policies and leadership education that is relevant to their professional and personal educational goals. It creates a smarter workforce with high rate of technology absorption. It gives them greater scope for growth.
Pre-requisites for making training programs successful – Following are the pre-requisites to make training programs successful –
• Identification of training needs:- Effectiveness of training largely depends on right diagnosis of training needs – a task which calls for patience, objectivity, time and management support. Since the training need are, in the first place, organizational need – an in depth study of organization would be a necessary starting point for solid and sound identification.
• Analyze purpose of training – Pressures for change from within or outside in any organization, may need expansion, adopting new technologies, developing new functions and re-organising existing functions and through a variety of other possible ways. Pressures for change organizational changes, in turn obviously, becomes, in turn the pressure on individuals to change of their mindset and working style. To deal effectively with the impending new jobs and situations, individuals find that they need new knowledge, understanding and skills, which perhaps can be acquired through training alone.
• How to identify training needs? :- The analysis of training needs can be done organization/occupation-wise, individual-wise, category-wise, level-wise or function-wise. The two techniques commonly used in job-analysis are –
– Job-observation and
– Interviewing.
For proper identification of training needs one has to study the organization in terms of its objectives, policies, functions and method of work and to look into the cases and causes of delays, errors, mistakes, the method and channels of communication, to analyze the behaviour of personnel within the organization; to look into plans for expansion or reorganization or changes contemplated for future.
In doing so, due attention demands to analyze the `felt’ needs, the `perceived’ needs and even the `induced’ needs. The performance gaps, at different levels of workers/personnel have to be clearly identified. It is also essential to determine the critical stages `when’, `how’, `how long’ and `where’ the training should be given. These are not easy questions to answer, as due attention has to be paid to requirements of `personal excellence’ as well as `organizational effectiveness’.
• Identification of learning objectives: For making training successful, it is necessary to establish proper learning objectives in respect of each category or level of officials to be trained. A proper identification of training needs makes the task easy. The learning objectives should be specific, measurable and testable, to be purposeful. For this purpose, one must be very clear about the nature, the form and the extent of change intended to be stimulated, induced or effected in the individual behaviour, the work systems and the organizational effectiveness. There are four possibilities open for a training institution to match its training goals with the organizational needs:
o The institution can publicize its training goals and the training strategies it prefers and its competence to use, to enable organizations and individuals to take advantage of such training facilities.
o To design tailor made training programs by meeting senior persons of the organizations intended to be served. It shows clearly the institutions’ interest in working closely with the organizations, whose need it expects to meet.
o Training institutions can acquire detailed information about the changes in the jobs for which the organization wishes to prepare itself through training. If the requirements are general and call for a series of programs, it can help the organization to work out a comprehensive training plan ahead of time.
o There is final advanced relationship, in which the institution and the organization are in full collaboration, full-fledged, played-in partners in an enterprise of importance to both of them.
Once the training needs are established and the objectives of the program becomes clear, the actual phase of as how to conduct the program starts. This calls for various activities, such as management of training itself and management of human and financial resources. In designing a training program, stress needs to be on experimental and practical forms of learning, rather than on theoretical academic or routine learning.
A well-designed course will be able to cater to such groups within the limitations of time, and also be able to expose them to all that is relevant in their fields. For the success of training of workers, it requires the use of experimental training techniques and high degree of involvement in the process of learning. The methodology of training should emphasize sharing of experience and trainers should provide the frame-work for meaningful discussion of practical issues and problems.
• Support of seniors: Top level support for training is necessary for the success of the training efforts. The training efforts should adequately be appreciated and supported at senior levels. The support of top-level management is needed at various steps such as while identifying training needs or while designed course content, or while nominating the trainees etc. Without top-level support, training becomes unable to produce the desired results.
• Selection of trainees:- Effectiveness of any training program would largely depend upon the selection of right type of personnel for right type of program. The selection of trainees should be based upon the potential, accomplishments and performance of a person. Priority should be given to those officers, who have demonstrated initiative, enthusiasm and creative effort.
• Evaluation:- Evaluation is a necessary feed-back tool for making successive training program effective. Through evaluation, the results achieved can be compared with objectives laid down by the sponsoring authorities, by the training institutions and by the trainees themselves, and the areas of shortcomings, pitfalls, bottlenecks can be isolated for remedial measures.
Winding up
It can be concluded that‘Education and Training’ play a very important role in skill development of youth, which together impart knowledge, shape attitudes, cultivate skills, build work-habits, and thus enable people to meet the challenges of modern times.Sound education and training can do much to improve the capability of youth and thus lead to faster economic growth and social change. Education and training of an official is not entirely a responsibility of the Government. Every person by himself should try to seek the opportunities to advance his knowledge and educational qualifications. At the same time government should be liberal in providing enough/proper opportunities to educate and train all its youth.

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August 17, 2014 - Posted by | Education and training of civil services |

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