Fighting Unemployability - One classroom at a time

Daftar Duniya 2.0 - Arthan’s continued efforts to light up classrooms for a brighter future

“Beta, abhi Science le lo aur uske baad Engineering karna. Acha package milega, settle ho jaoge aur khush rahoge (Kid, take science and study engineering. You will get a well paying job)” said almost every Indian parent, aunt, uncle, close and distant relatives, well-wishers, strangers and practically every elderly person of the mainstream Indian society. Depending on a few variable factors, the option could also be extended to being a medical professional, a corporate professional, a bank official or even a government job employee. 

That is the generic career counselling that a multitude of students get during their educational years and for some, unfortunately, this is the only career counselling that they get in their entire lives. A humongous amount of expectations and responsibilities are just dumped on the student’s shoulders without even considering that they maybe are not cut-out for that stream and line of work. Schools and colleges, too, do not do a very good job of equipping their students with information and skill sets about career opportunities.  

Only 1 out of every 5 students in India get career counselling and information about career opportunities in their educational years. The rest are just left to fend for themselves in an overly competitive world. According to a recent survey done by Wheebox for India Skills Report 2018, almost 85% of candidates state that they are not equipped to take career decisions. The career counselling methods used in the educational institutions and career fairs are considered medieval in today’s day and age and they are unable to keep up with the dynamics of the students and the workspace. 

The conditions are only worse for students and job seekers from government schools and low-income communities. Their inaccessibility towards proper education is only later topped with no or improper guidance at best, in terms of career. The August 2018 IC3 (International Career and College Counselling) Conference in New Delhi stated that India’s 350 million student population is in dire need of 1.4 million career counsellors to maintain a globally acceptable student-to-counsellor ratio. Those hard-hitting numbers are being fought by many in their own ways, across the country and the globe. One amongst them is ‘Arthan Foundation’, a Delhi based Non-Profit Organisation. Their programme, titled, ‘Daftar Duniya’ helped change lives of 5000 kids in the last year. They had 65 facilitators who went to 40 schools and devoted 600 hours to educate around 5000 kids on their career possibilities. 

This year, Arthan is back with ‘Daftar Duniya 2.0’, a continued effort to change young lives. This programme has been heavily refined after the successes and failures of its predecessor. The programme has been highly streamlined compared to its previous version. A lot has been added to the programme and also, the course has now been systematically divided into parts for a clearer understanding. To give a little more insight into this, the first part of the process deals with self-awareness and psychometric evaluations. The second part then shifts to planning where they are taught about general planning, career planning and also, financial planning. The final part of the process is where the students are given large amount of information about careers and are told to plan their careers based on the awareness, they have about themselves. The kids are told to make two plans, one very ideal and aspirational and one rational, which also acts as a backup plan. 

Arthan delivers this whole career counselling package to the government school classrooms through its facilitators who are fellows from Teach For India (TFI) and Breakthrough India Trust. These facilitators are trained by the Arthan through a series of workshop sessions and they are sent to the classrooms to educate the children. The 2019 programme is expected to commence in July and the goal for this year is 10,000 students. The programme has been now expanded to more schools in Delhi and also Chennai, making it a tri-lingual course now. 

Daftar Duniya 2.0 is Arthan Foundation’s bit in making the world a little more educated and career secure.