Anando Sangbad: India has a rich history of producing thought leaders who have reformed the country’s education system with their innovative ideas and values. This time, India is going to witness another reform in its education ecosystem initiated by a young thought leader Mr. Dev Aditya. With a vision to make the next generation future job ready, he is introducing ‘Soft Skills & Transferable Skills Training initiative’ in Indian Schools. A year ago, this London based Social Innovator was on a 2100 km tour across the Indian sub-continent along with Dutch researcher Dr Pauldy Otermans where they identified the existing gap of soft skills in the Indian education system. Soon after, they founded Otermans Institute (OI) in London to develop various modules for soft skills and employment skills training. The curriculum & teaching methods are based on 6 years of International Research conducted by UK & US scholars.
Team OI has so far travelled across various states of India including Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra, besides neighboring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh to find out the reality of soft skills training in the region. They were shocked to find that over 90% of the schools and colleges they visited completely lacked any form of soft skills and employment enhancing training that could enhance the future job prospects of their students. Also, the lack of proper career development support in most of the schools projected the real reason for the increasing graduate unemployment of the three countries.
“The advent of modern technology & automation needs a workforce that is conscious & skilled. Unfortunately, only few academic institutions in the region try to impart the skills necessary to sustain jobs in Industrial revolution 4.0 from the formative age of students “, explains Mr. Dev.
With an objective to upskill the future generation, Otermans Institute (OI) is launching ‘Soft Skills Training modules’ for school students starting from Class 9. This training will enhance some of the key employability skills in students including communication, career development and ideation. “We are confident to train at least 5000 students by this 2020 itself. “says Mr. Dev Aditya.
Mr Akshat Kumar, a lecturer in Patna, who witnessed Otermans Institute (OI) trainers conducting their sessions said, “I am thoroughly impressed by the curriculum and the potential impact it can have on the future employments of hundreds of students”.
Mr. Dev Aditya was awarded with the prestigious “Bengal’s Pride Award” in July this year at the House of Commons in the British parliament for his outstanding work on this and other social innovation projects. Even as a University student, he was exemplary and elected as the first ever non-European Deputy-President at Brunel University London where he proved his mettle and won several national awards for his social work. He and Dr Otermans have previously worked on various Social Projects including with British Prime Minister Mr. Boris Johnson on a green transportation scheme for West London.
Their London based Curriculum & Skill Development institution also runs its CSR project called ‘Project Aditto’ which aims to provide training to upskill teachers of under privileged schools without any cost. They hope to instill the latest western teaching practices in rural India through this scheme.
Otermans Institute (OI) in London & Dev Aditya are taking a big leap to upskill a generation through soft skills training over the next five years. “We shall incorporate strategic changes in academic training to reach more than 100,000 students by 2023”, expresses Dev. Dr Otermans, who is the principal designer of the modules further added, “barriers to the English language will be a big hurdle for us which we aim to solve by incorporating communicative and spoken English training in our modules and by tailoring our teaching styles to local needs.”

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