The world is witnessing unprecedented changes and technology, societies and environment we lived in even a few years before, are evolving fast. Along with this change, we are also facing a plethora of social and environmental challenges including – hunger, discrimination, joblessness, climate change – all of which are interlinked set of serious problems. Countries all over the world now agree that collaboration is the only way forward.
What role do students have in this changing world? How can they be instrumental in contributing to a better world by mitigating challenges? We at Stoodnt.com sought answers from stakeholders of the Indian education sector on if students should develop leadership and social entrepreneurship skills in high school and how it can help them in their long-term career.
So Why Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Skills Development is important at High School? Let us listen to the opinions of experts on this matter-
According to Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Adamas University, Kolkata, “students in school need to understand today that information gathering is no sure path to success in the era of internet and Google. It is the blend of the left brain with creative, aesthetic, leadership skills and the right brain with the logical, rational and scientific skills that can ensure success and happiness in life.”
“Take responsibility, owning a task, taking charge, and simultaneously being a team member in another task makes the best emotionally intelligent young man or woman today. Hence, sports that develop teamwork and leadership simultaneously, organizing events that develop taking ownership, planning strategy for a trip or an event or a small business that develops managerial along with entrepreneurial skills are valued very high in higher education positioning globally. Basic awareness of reading, writing, arithmetic, knowledge of the domain are skills given today. It is the leadership along with entrepreneurial acumen that makes the differentiator,” added Chowdhury.
Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director IIM Sambalpur, feels entrepreneurship and leadership skills are important to cultivate in a student, and schools should focus on providing a holistic education. “While some students might exhibit entrepreneurial and leadership skills at a young age, but we must remember, not everyone is a born leader. Every student has their niche interest and skills, some might excel in other areas as well. Hence, I believe schools should try to provide the best education they can in every subject. There are always higher education institutions where one can hone these skills post-high school if their interest persists,” he explained.
Prof. Jaiswal also stated that every school is the cradle where dreams are born in the minds, it takes shape into a career much later. “Schools should provide an all-inclusive curriculum that opens the panoramic vistas of the outer world by inculcating values through holistic education. Development of skills and honing them in the right direction should be undertaken at the higher school level. This will build focus among students to choose the right career that suits their personalities and matching skill sets. All students are not future entrepreneurs. It requires some inherent skills and passion that grows with time and knowledge. There are multiple avenues to channelize these skills once a student completes 12th grade. ITIs, IITs, IIMs are there to sharpen the focus towards a career in entrepreneurship,” he pointed out.
Dr Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group opined, “doing volunteer work for social enterprises enables students to develop capabilities like leadership, team-working, problem-solving skills and empathy for others. Young people with these traits tend to stand out among their peers. They are highly in demand by colleges and employers who recognize their value, which builds their careers for long term success.”