At a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs due to the corona pandemic and other reasons, holding webinars on skilling students and youth is the need of the hour and in tune with the National Education Policy 2020, said RIPE Shekhar Mehta. “We have to make them understand the need to enhance their skills and bring excellence in their work,” he said at the valedictory session of Enterprise Education webinars, a series of online programmes hosted by RID 3131, for school students and young professionals. The valedictory session was co-hosted by RID 3292’s Rotary Nepal Literacy Mission.
But in India, lack of dignity of labour is a big concern that needs to be addressed by Rotary, he said and quoted Gandhiji who said “everyone’s role in the community must be respected.” Despite our huge population and demand for skilled services, only five per cent of students get vocational training whereas in Korea, a small but more developed country, 90 per cent of students undergo skill training. Even in a well-developed country such as Germany, over 50 per of youth get vocational training, he noted. “If I need an accountant, there are over 100 applicants for the job. But not even 10 of them would have updated their knowledge with the right skills needed for the job,” he rued.
There is a huge potential for small scale industries to thrive in India if right skilling is given to the youth who must be made to understand the value they bring to the table with such updated skills, Mehta explained. “We need to have a passion for excellence. Rotary India has taken up skill development programmes for 30,000 widows and single mothers. Of which, 6,000 women are being trained now by Apollo Medskills through a two-month online course followed by a one-month hands-on programme, after which they will be absorbed by the trainer.”
Rotary Nepal Literacy Mission under PDG Tirth Man Sakya and IPDG Kiran Lal Shrestha has come a long way in its journey to achieve total literacy in the Himalayan country, he said, adding, “PDG Muhammad Faiz Kidwai has single-handedly taken up literacy projects in Pakistan.”
Four webinars were hosted by RID 3131 since July with over 400 participants including Rotaractors, Interactors and teachers from government schools across Maharashtra. “A study of the school education system in western countries shows that they give importance to enterprise education right from elementary schools. We identify the skills that can be developed among students through webinars that boost self-confidence, ability to collect information and sharpen the decision-making process. Teachers are also given appropriate modules to develop enterprising skills among students,” said Pradeep Wagh, district mentor, International Service, RID 3131.
A Preliminary Business Plan Competition was held for Rotaractors and Interactors in which 23 presentations were received by the jury panel. RAC Mhow Community, RID 3040, bagged the top prize with a certificate and cash prize of ₹10,000 for its urban plan, An initiative towards ‘No waste city’ which was presented by a four-member Rotaract team. Rtr Mala Dhital (RAC Itahari, RID 3292) and Intr Swarali Vaidya (Interact Club of City Pride Junior College) were runners-up.
RID 3131-DLCC Subodh Malpani, District Literacy director Deepa Bhagwat, IPDG Dhiran Datta, RID 3040, PDGs Pramod Jejurikar, Chandu Agarwal, Muhammad Kidwai and Rtn Nitin Naik, chairman, Cubix Tech, participated.