Modern problems require modern solutions. And, these solutions are usually developed with the use of exemplary soft skills by exceptional leaders. Renowned educational institutions in developed countries like the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have already implemented phenomenal techniques to integrate soft skills into their education systems. Most of these developed countries inculcate technical skills into their students at the tender age of 10-15 employing a well-developed school curriculum. But, developing countries of Asia like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and even some places of India, have failed to incorporate the same into their education system.
The importance of soft skills in education
Technical skills are just a small aspect of the several soft skills needed by students once they graduate and enter the labour market. They are required to have good communication skills, ability to work in teams, problem-solving skills, entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills, work ethics, and moral professionalism. These are some of the professional skills that need to be inculcated into students at an early age so that they do not face extreme difficulty, pressure, and stress during their professional life.
Institutions of developed countries have realized this and developed several co-curricular activities at the school level to promote these soft skills. But, even the higher education institutions of developing nations like Afghanistan have not implemented the development of these soft skills in many of their academic and professional courses.
What are the principles for integrating soft skills into the education system?
In 2017, the Youth Employment Funders Group conducted an online seminar, popularly known as a webinar nowadays, which was attended by prominent educationists. In this webinar, these like-minded individuals discussed and developed four principles to integrate soft skills into the educational infrastructure of both developed and developing countries so that professional competencies of graduate students can be enhanced.
The first principle according to the results of the webinar was focused on attempting to change smaller aspects rather than opposing the entire system of education. The second principle emphasised on developing teacher support systems to drive such educational reforms. The third principle guided the design of the curriculum based on feedback from practical implementation. And, the fourth principle focused on developing learning networks and peer-based learning communities to further the efforts of soft skill integration into the education system.
Integrated learning at Sharda University
Keeping in mind these four principles, Sharda University, one of the most renowned world-class universities of India, has developed a uniquely designed curriculum that promises the overall development of students. Such courses are beneficial especially for Afghani students since they can gain access to a whole different avenue of learning experiences that enhances their soft skills. Notably, leadership, communication, and teamwork are part and parcel of the educational experience at Sharda University. With such integrated learning courses, Sharda University is the right platform for Afghani students to develop themselves into effective future leaders.
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