Self Sufficiency in Higher Education
Self-sufficiency is often valued as a feeling of fundamental well-being. People with strong self-sufficiency have a stronger ground to their inner sense and a more profound resilience towards negative life events happening around them. Within an era where a pandemic has hit us, people are more dependable on digitization to get along with their day-to-day activities and are focusing on self-sufficiency more than ever.
It goes without saying that “Self-help is the best help” and today, with all the social distancing situations, leveraging self-help has become essential. The pandemic phase, as well as the post-pandemic phase, have changed the outlook for everyone, and these phases have helped widen our perspectives. It has taught everyone to be more autonomous and to be more self-sufficient – a vital tool these days – may it be an individual, an enterprise, or an educational institution for that matter.
As students, since our schooling years, we have always been taught the importance of self-sufficiency and self-reliance. To initiate this habit within us, the Indian education system, since the start, has inculcated the concept of self-study. The pattern of the education system, the syllabus has always been centered and focused around the practice of self-study where the student will take efforts to hone his knowledge outside study hours through homework and projects as a regular practice.
In today’s world, where digitization has taken over and more classes are online rather than on-site, the concept of self-study/self-help has never been of this vital use. Students have to facilitate their learnings without any external helping factors — a more self-reliant teaching-learning process is expected from the students.
The thought of self-sufficiency comes from experts like those at Consulting Engineers’ Association of India (CEAI) who have worked in a professional environment for years. In multinational corporations as well as in next-generation startups, employees put in loads of hard work to meet project deadlines and ensure project success throughout. However, it is important to understand that it is necessary for any employee to have a combination of technical as well as non-technical knowledge of a given subject. Logical and clear thinking effectively increase the productivity of an employee. And much of it comes through self-learning and self-sustainability.
In order for every employee to have adequate logical reasoning capabilities, it is important to nurture the fundamentals at the right age. High school and college students are of the perfect age to understand things and apply their own thoughts and logic to do specific projects. This is the age where a person becomes truly self-sufficient in all aspects of life and not just their respective course or profession.
The factory model in education that has been followed in India since time immemorial is becoming obsolete by the day. The current Indian education system is based on the model of collective teaching. However, it ceases to consider students as independent individuals with independent qualities and capabilities. In order to tackle this, CEAI believes a pedagogical relationship can be established and magnified which will certainly help in focusing on individual performances in higher education.
As per the research paper “Students’ Attitude Towards Learning Methods for Self-Sufficiency Development in Higher Education,” learning is a very broad concept. It is the ability to learn by considering the learning stages and evaluation processes as well as the replacement of traditional teaching methods with the active ones during university studies.
Further, the research paper also explains the traditional methods of teaching in higher educational levels. Analyses of topics, topical teaching, explanation, workbooks, demonstration, etc. are all prerequisites of the traditional methods of teaching. In addition, lecturing is the most common practice of all, observed worldwide across institutions and universities.
However, surveys conducted show that the mentioned methods are only valid for the development of common skills as they involve acquiring and processing information. On the other hand, self-sufficiency demands the achievement of the set goals, motivation development, cooperation, problem identification, and interdisciplinarity; aspects which all cease to exist in the traditional system of higher education. Thus, CEAI believes that in order to develop students for high-level responsibilities, problem-solving attitudes, and achievement of set goals, it is necessary to have self-sufficiency in higher education, not just in India but across universities of the world.
If you found this article insightful, head over to the Consulting Engineers Association of India’s (CEAI) website for more useful content.