General knowledge deficit

S. Karthikeyan | Updated on October 12, 2012 Published on October 12, 2012

Sharing and growing. — K.R. Deepak

Why do we need a knowledge bank? At present, academic knowledge alone is not sufficient for students when they take up their first jobs, or start an industrial activity, or even study further.

Ignorance of current affairs is a basic problem with students. Even if they have a good academic record, they lack soft skills ( teamwork, integrity, reliability, project management and interest to learn), high-order thinking skills ( critical thinking and problem solving) and communication skills ( spoken English). They do not fare well in competitive examinations, conducted for recruitment in banking and insurance sectors, and civil service examinations, because of lack of general knowledge.

Catch ‘em young

To overcome this knowledge gap, steps have to be taken at the school, college, and university level from the very beginning by motivating students to acquire the habit of going through newspapers, dailies, magazines, etc. The development of National Knowledge Development Corporation (NKDC) and the distribution of school-level editions of newspapers are some initiatives taken in this direction.

The need for a ‘knowledge bank’ or a forum that can be set up at every school, college or university, where all students (compulsory), teaching and non-teaching staff members (optional) shall be allowed to enrol as members, with the body headed by one of the students with the support of an organising committee, cannot be underestimated.

This would enable students to develop the extra reading habit and improve vocabulary; develop oratory capabilities and communication skills by overcoming stage fear; acquire general knowledge, and soft skills, through discussion with members; develop confidence to take up competitive examinations;

Regular meetings, updates

The ‘knowledge bank’ should meet once a week or fortnight for one to two hours on Saturdays or on holidays at the school, college, university campus and all the student members should meet and discuss or share information they have collected or read during the last one week or fortnight and update their knowledge.

Interested teaching and non-teaching members could also participate and co-ordinate the activities of the students. Resource persons from outside who are interested in ‘knowledge bank’ activities could also take part in the forum’s activities. The proceedings should be recorded. The financial support to conduct such meetings should come from the managements of schools, colleges and universities, besides voluntary contribution from members.

(The author, a former PSU banker, is now a financial consultant in Madurai.)

Published on October 12, 2012
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