Sometimes random conversations with people tend to hold up the biggest mirrors to us as a community, and how we are in fact, failing our young people. Especially, those with limited means to educate themselves in expensive institutions.

Several young people take on odd jobs, looking to match their meagre incomes with their huge aspiration. And there-in, their regret. Their schools had not educated or equipped them with skills or confidence to be able to stand on their feet, they say, in brief snatches of conversation while on the job.

One young lad, speaking with pride on his job as a phlebotomist (who does your blood tests), revealed how only four of them in their large class managed to make a “success” of their life. The course taught them little and students attended classes only to get their attendance certificates, he said, adding that many also worked odd jobs to pay for their education. Some young folks are able to train on the job, he said, and are able to move from strength to strength. But not everyone is lucky. And it’s not their fault.

People want to learn a skill, speak confidently and carry themselves well, to be able to start their own venture or land a secure job. But the schools and teachers “don’t care”, he says, despite taking the payment. While this observation is purely anecdotal, it finds common ground with a complaint from industry, that people being churned out of the myriad institutes are quite unemployable, in terms of skill or knowledge.

The core reason is that teachers are “neglected” and teaching receives little attention as a professional service, says an educationist. Merely having a “degree” does not make you a good teacher, he said, calling for a system revamp, to screen for inspiring and passionate individuals who are keen to share their knowledge. Keen to teach and inspire young minds to learn and grow, and not just “acquire a degree”.