Skill Education In the face of challenges

Asia/India/Mayo del 2017/Noticias/

One essential skill you will need the most in constantly changing times is problem solving

Sachin Kale, engineer/MBA/lawyer from Chattisgarh quit his corporate job to revive his grandfather’s 25-acre farmland. At Medhpar, his village, he worked hard and created a model farm that made profit all year round. He wanted other farmers too to make farming profitable. He launched Innovative Agrilife Solutions which persuaded buyers to extend credit/tools/methods for farming, and asked farmers in turn to produce crops suggested by the buyer for an agreed-to minimum selling price. The buyer lifts entire crops at this price; even if the market price is lower, the farmer gets a share of the profit when prices go high — a win-win for both buyers and farmers. Sachin’s company has so far, helped 137 farmers make profits.

Start early

Bengaluru-based Elan talks of how Whitefield Rising volunteers fixed an abandoned park discovered by Nellurahalli residents, and restored the Kundalahalli Lake by building a sewage-treatment plant through a joint citizen-government-corporate plan.

We are called to solve problems every day, as we complete college courses, upgrade industry skills and apply for jobs. We have seen the tragic consequences of our inability to cope — youngsters decide to take their life over problems that look eminently solvable. After Arjun Bharadwaj, an engineering student, jumped off a Taj Land’s End hotel room, Humans of Bombay shared the story of comedian Anmol Sanchar, who said, “I hit rock bottom (with depression) and got out of it. Hold on a bit longer … there will be one day when you will be happy again…”

“Problem-solving skills play an important role for a well-rounded education, as there is a gap between what is learnt in school and what is performed as jobs,” says Nishchal Shukla, Associate VP-Assessments, Educational Initiatives. He points out how, the World Economic Forum’s latest annual Human Capital Index estimates that children will face job types that don’t exist today. In this context, problem-solving skills become important — to understand the problem, plan how to solve it, integrate different concepts relevant to solve the problem, arrive at an answer, and execute the plan. “The problems may or may not be related to students, but a good problem-solving task is one that involves an unfamiliar situation,” adds Shukla.

Employers look for people who recognise what needs to be done, come up with creative and effective solutions and take action. Shouldn’t the knack of analysing a problem, mapping out possibilities and arriving at workable solutions be nurtured in schools and colleges as a valuable life-skill?

Whether maths or engineering, problem-solving is necessary to apply what is learned in school to situations outside. We need human skills to find solutions to social and humanitarian problems. By presenting students with problems and asking them to solve them, teachers can ensure that students are prepared for these challenges. Educationists suggest brainstorming, problem-solving games where the teacher can invite students to drop a written problem in a box, and the class finds solutions to them. In turn, this will help students to solve moral dilemmas. Break the problem down to different stages, re-phrase questions you are dealing with. For example, if your problem is finding funds, instead of saying, “I can’t start this project, I don’t have the money”, ask, “How can I start the project without money?” Wait for the brain to fire-off solutions.

“Don’t look for a great idea, look for a good problem,” said Greg Satell, author, Mapping Innovation, citing solutions such as Birdseye’s fish-freezing, Schwab’s flat commissions and Jobs’ iPad which catapulted their respective firms’ fortunes.

As Ken Watanbe says, “My aim is to help people make problem-solving into a habit, one that empowers them to solve not only their own problems, but the challenges of their schools, businesses, communities — and maybe even the world.”


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