Pune: Amidst stiff competition for marks and lucrative conventional career choices, a Pune-based NGO has been training students to be more employable rather than running after marks and degrees.
At the NGO ‘Lend A Hand India’ (LAHI), the motto is to help students achieve ‘learning by doing’. Till date, the organisation has trained over a thousand students in the age-group of 14 and 18 in the State in six main employable skills like ‘general engineering’, ‘food processing technique’, ‘energy environment’, ‘agriculture’, ‘gardening’ and ‘nursery management’.
“We have designed a flagship programme as our curriculum with support from the government, which not only has skill development subjects but also others like sports, retail and electronics. Our students get to choose their fields of interest and the required skills for that job are taught in both theory and practical way,” said Lend A Hand India Senior Manager, Mahesh Rasal.
The programme is run at 500 schools in Maharashtra. Simultaneously, municipal schools in Pune and Mumbai too, are a part of the programme.
Rasal stated, “The main reason behind unemployment among youth is running behind marks which is no doubt important, but in this competition, we can’t forget the skills which should be part of mainstream education. There is a significant disconnect between school education and the opportunities, skills, and exposure to these is necessary to achieve full potential and earn a livelihood.”
The organisation identifies students at the school level when they reach Std VIII.
“We make their school education practical and relevant with vocational skills as part of our secondary and higher secondary curriculum and train them till class XII,” added Rasal.
The students are also offered internships, post their course. “The organisation has started internship programmes which gives the students a chance to show their skills and get a job. We have also entered into a partnership with 23 states to provide them with technical support and project management for the internship programme. The organisation is currently working with several states like Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim etc.,” the senior manager added.