Basic Skills are inbuilt perception and awareness in an individual. They take the form of ability, adaptability and application.
The dimensions of Abilities are:
*Memory and concentration
*Willingness to learn
The dimensions of Adaptabilities are :
*Locus of control
*Need for achievement
The dimensions of Application are :
Every person goes through a series of experience in order to be an effective member of the society. From the day an infant is born it has to learn several motor skills like grasping, lifting the head, turning, crawling, creeping, standing, walking, and talking. Slowly these skills give rise to finer skills like running, playing a sport, dancing, playing music, reading, and writing.
Modern living has taken these skills for granted and people today feel that all skills come automatically. However, they fail to understand the amount of effort and practice that the child puts in order to master these skills.
Education is not just the abundance of information in the brain which probably runs riot and incomprehensive. What is required is channeling this information to form character, to strengthen and expand the intellect so as to make an individual capable of independent sustenance.
As Swami Vivekananda said, “The essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. If I had to do my education over again I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration, memory and detachment and with this perfect instrument I could collect as much facts at will”.
Ninety percent of an individual’s force of thought is wasted without these basic skills and therefore constantly tending to commit blunders.
A trained mind with perfect basic skills seldom makes a mistake.
The only way to retain and sharpen the existing basic skills is to keep up the practice and be detached about the consequences. One ounce of practice is worth thousand tones of big talk.
Haven’t we all heard that sun can produce heat but cannot burn because of scattered rays while if concentrated through a lens can set fire and burn. A concentrated mind is like a searchlight making it possible to see objects lying at a distance or in dark corners. Conquering the distractions and focusing the mind should become an easy task by constant practice. With such sharp mind one can save lot of efforts, energy and time to assimilate knowledge.
The question arises now as to whether these skills are enough for our everyday living.
WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT SURVIVING BUT ABOUT THRIVING.
The answer to this question lies in the degree to which these skills are used by adults. However, the increase in competition and revision of curricula have made our students just the marks-scoring machines.
The advent of Information Technology has brought forth the lacunae in our present education system. Increased globalization has triggered the need for the development of soft skills in job applicants in addition to having the required minimum qualification.
Thus, it is not sufficient now if you are able to speak;You need to COMMUNICATE.
It is not sufficient now if you know certain things in your subject; You need to REMEMBER.
It is not sufficient now if you are able to carry on with your job; You need to CONCENTRATE.
It is so easy as adults to admonish a child or student to concentrate and memorise what they read.
But if they turn back and question “How to do it ?”, we are at a loss to answer.
Life skills thus forms the very foundation of the structure a child / student is in the process of construction. If the foundation is sound, he can raise floors related to knowledge, job, career, profession, money, power etc, and be successful.
Emphasis on evaluation of these life skills should be a part of curriculum in education. Products and literature on enhancing them should be included. Constant practice in day-to-day life should be encouraged as long as one is fit to function.
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