The world that we live in today, differentiates immensely between being educated and being employable. Often, the skill set acquired by a student at graduate and post graduate level is not an exact match for the skill set required by the industry. The JLU Centre for Professional Skills has been established with the aim to focus on and impart skill development training in order to equip students and working professionals with job relevant set of skills that are applicable to their area of employment and consequently the skills gap between academia and industry is bridged. The Centre, headed by Dr. Rolii Ajay Khare organised its first Faculty Development Program on 15th February 2018.
The resource person for the session was Dr. Neva Cebron from the University of Primorska in Slovenia (Europe). She conducted the session on the topic ‘Aiming towards Building Global Readiness and Competency based on Non Essentialist Approaches’. She demonstrated and discussed how cultural stereotypes interfere with our understanding of and communication with others. The session was made interactive by use of videos showcasing how people behave when they have strong preconceived notions about other people’s appearances and supposed cultures. The video showcased an American man making typical assumptions about an Asian woman only to learn a few minutes later that she herself was born and brought up in the US! Another interesting video that Dr. Cebron played was a TED talk by the Nigerian author Ms. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, recorded at Oxford, England. Ms. Adichie herself had fallen prey to cultural stereotypes numerous times where she repeatedly encountered people who were familiar with ‘just one story’ of a place. She went on to explain with an example where she said “Yes life in Nigeria was difficult, when I saw the rationing of milk, the jam jar disappear from the table, the hike in bread prices and when there were months when my parents weren’t paid their salaries. Yet, I was a girl who was brought up happy and content in a tight knit family, a girl who had education. The idea here is to understand the danger of a single story, it is not incorrect, it is incomplete.” Her talk beautifully illustrated the assumptions that all of us make for each other’s cultures.
The session particularly aimed at addressing the staff of the School of Engineering and Technology, School of Humanities and Arts, School of Management, Jagran Lakecity Business School, Jagran School of Journalism and Communication and the School of Education, with a view to training students who are expected to be globally ready for jobs and other encounters.
Certificates of participation were also given for this session.