Monday, May 29, 2023

Scrolling All the Way: How Technology affects our Attention


Image by Chen Pixabay

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a smartphone must be checking the notifications first thing in the morning. In fact, every day we see ourselves briefly scrolling through the Explore section on Instagram, going through reels after reels, posts after posts, until we choose to get out of the bed.

However, a question remains - how “brief” is this ritual of “briefly” scrolling through social media platforms every day in the morning, or at any given time in the day? What is the nature of the content that we see? Moreover, how do our smartphones have our attention all the time?

But wait…

Before we head into the details, let’s take a deep breath. Inhale as much air as you can. And then exhale it all slowly.

Now, with a clear mind, think about the reasons that drive you to access your phone as soon as you wake up. It might be for:

  • The unread messages from your friends
  • Checking whether your latest post/reel got a lot of likes
  • If your status update was viewed by someone you are interested in
  • To go through the sale items at an online store
  • To watch a new episode on an OTT platform
                                                                                    …and the list goes on.

We may have more than one reason to check our phone immediately in the morning, but it is the finer nuances that turn normal activities into priorities. What if you were told that these actions would not be affected in any way if you check them after you freshen up and have your breakfast?

Yes, perhaps a product on sale would go out of stock by then, but it is this sense of urgency that often motivates us to check our phone at every moment. And now, this habit (or ritual, rather) is benefiting innumerable businesses and organizations as we speak. Especially if that involves social media.

Social media platforms are quite a funny place. They turn videos into crass visuals, an incident into memes, and repetition a trend. Come on, as soon as a person does a somersault to a funny song and uploads it on Instagram or TikTok, you would drown in a sea of reels made by different people but doing the exact same thing - the same somersault act with the same song playing in the video.

The absence of originality, or even change for that matter, has affected our choices and perceptions in such a manner that the bombardment of the same type of content by hundreds of other creators would still make us laugh. Because we will still see those videos while we have a meal or when we are commuting. We watch because we pay our attention to them. Or rather, we pay with our attention.

But wait. What do we pay for?

Human Attention and Data Algorithms

What we see on social media influences our opinions, beliefs, and (thus) our tendency to stay hooked on the platform for hours while it would seem like a couple of minutes to us. So, in most cases, we pay for entertainment, amusement, or even knowledge on online platforms with our undue attention.

As a matter of fact, our attention span has lowered down significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. As digital consumption reached an all-time high, there was a surge in content generation (not creation, exactly) on social media platforms as well as other websites, all of which had one goal in particular - to gain a lot of viewers for as long as possible.

How can you commodify attention?

In order to understand how Attention is becoming an important global commodity, let’s look at the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP invites creators to join the platform to boost their businesses to greater heights. In order to be eligible for their monetization policy, the YPP states that your YouTube Channel must have either of the two criteria fulfilled:

Your channel (with long-form videos) must have 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 authentic public watch hours in the last 12 months,


Your channel (short-form videos) must have 1,000 subscribers with 10 million authentic public Shorts views in the last 90 days

For more details regarding the YPP, click here.

As you can see, the number of views that the videos in your channel get is a deciding factor. Although you may have 1k subscribers, what matters is how much the subscribers are looking forward to your content. In short, YouTube implies that the creator must have the audience’s attention at all times. This need for more views had already come into being since 2018, before the pandemic.

In a way, an Attention Economy has come into being, as a byproduct of a world that is neck-deep into information; information that is endless and unchecked. With the inception of the internet, there has always been an undeterred focus on increasing the amount of content that is available. After all, the human mind tends to look for more options to make better judgment.

However, Herbert A. Simon looks at this from a different angle. He says that there is no dearth in the amount of information on the web. Rather, there is a scarcity of attention for the information that is available online. In his work Designing Organizations for an Information-rich World, he writes;

“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” (Simon, pp. 37-52)

How does Data demand your attention?

It’s pretty simple. It just reduces the length, structure, and duration of the content. That way, the reader can read or watch the content without the concern of spending “too much time in it”. When, ironically, they are spending the same time, or more, to watch one 30-minute video or a 6-page text.

The Attention Economy, thus, has influenced Marketing and Sales strategies to a great extent. For instance, the SEO mechanism necessitates the use of short sentences. Also short paragraphs, with a certain group of keywords. But the article should make sense. Just like how this article has been written. Into chunks of paragraphs so that we can hold on to you until your attention runs out!

Thus, the new approach to digital consumption is to seek for more attention and find ways to allot it among the excess data available. In other words, as the Explore section on Instagram helps you discover new creators, memes or trends regularly, the algorithm bombards you with the same somersault video being made by other 638 creators. That way, the trend would keep on going until another “quirky” video (within a week or less) pops up and eventually becomes another new trend.

Rationing your Attention

Yes, you read it right. As our senses and minds are being overwhelmed by the overabundance of content on the web - textual or visual, premium or free -, it is high time that we took control over the quantity and quality of content that we should expose ourselves to. And certainly, you can bring in small changes in your daily routine and habits that would eventually culminate into a greater change in your online activities.

Some of the recommended ways to ration your attention for the sake of your mental and emotional well-being are:

  • Set up app timers that would block your apps as soon as you spend the specified duration of time on a particular day. Apps like Digital Wellbeing allow you to regulate your screen time on certain apps - social media, shopping, gaming, etc.
  • Using productivity apps like Forest is a healthy way to mitigate the amount of time you spend on your phone. You can set a timer of an hour or so on the Forest app, and choose to do a chore, read a book, or do something to amuse yourself. After all, you can’t use your phone until the timer on the Forest app comes to an end!
  • Yoga and Meditation. Yes, the same suggestion over and over again when it comes to health and wellness. But it is true that meditation is beneficial for your mind and body. So, maybe spare some time in yoga instead of YouTube when you wake up in the morning?
  • Develop your weekly routine so that it can accommodate a couple of hours at night for social detox. Well, it is best to stay away from gadgets a couple of hours before you go to bed. Also, social detox is one of the best ways to work on your digital consumption. So, good sleep and good health, guaranteed.

The longer the views, the better the returns. And by returns, it simply means recognition, popularity, and finances for certain. After all, special award ceremonies hosted by social media platforms would not have happened if Attention was never commodified by businesses.

With each passing day, as new trends and newer gadgets enter the market, we find our attention span decreasing at an alarming rate. Likewise, our interests too are changing at the same pace. As we jump from one trend to the other, our minds are barely given enough space to process and defuse the sheer stress of information overload that has not become the new normal.

Being spammed with 15-20 odd notifications at an hourly rate not only delivers priority notifications but also bombards us with information that is unnecessary. This excess of information that we receive to us via news alerts or WhatsApp forwards is actually cluttering our brains with data that is not really required in the long run. Thus, the need to ration your attention is quite crucial for the well-being of your intellect and emotional quotient. Be it productivity or leisure, one must prioritize the kinds of content that you want to expose yourself to, so that your mind can get a breather to process information that is necessary.

Hence, in a world that seeks to rise in views and likes over quality and originality, let’s take a moment to ponder over how the content affects you. Does it actually leave a good impression on you, or do you laugh at the meme because many people find it “relatable”? Do you actually want the shirt you see online, or is it for the good reviews it has received from past customers?

After all, manipulation is an age-old technique of entrapment. Thus, it is better to think about what you actually like, than go with what the herd wants.

  • Simon, Herbert A (1971). Designing Organizations for an Information-rich World. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 37–52. 

Blog collaborator: Apurba Ganguly (she/her) is an English literature student, pursuing B.Ed (English). She has been eager to understand the intricacies of Memory Studies and Visual Narratives. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023



Image credit: 愚木混株 Cdd20 Pixabay

Do you know which is the most viewed TED Talk? My guess is that many of you know this. For those who are unaware, it’s Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 talk, “Do School Kill Creativity?” with almost 75 million views and counting on YouTube. (source

This metric may be an indicator of the enormous interest people have in the topic of Creativity. But, Why are people so interested in Creativity? In my opinion, the reasons could be:

Intrigue - We are intrigued by the concept of creativity (many of us have a narrow understanding of it)

Regret - Sadly, most of us lost our creativity and imagination while growing up (schooling, eh!)

I Wish - We all wish we were more creative! (sounds familiar?)

Awe - We all admire and hold creative people in awe! (be it Messi’s pass to Julian Alvarez in the World Cup semifinal against Croatia, or AR Rahman’s music composition for the film Roja, or Jeethu Joseph’s screenplay and direction of Mohan Lal’s Drishyam, or even Yuval Noah Harari’s way of thinking and writing that is evident in Sapiens).

If we are asked the question What is Creativity?, we might have different versions of our understanding of it. Many may view Creativity as an artistic ability, while others may view it as a way of thinking. Some may view it as an attribute or manifestation of artists. So, let’s get into the definition of Creativity from two perspectives: one from the English Dictionary and the other from the APA (American Psychological Association) Dictionary of Psychology.

Creativity is the ability to produce original and unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative. – Cambridge Dictionary

Creativity is the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method, or device, or a new artistic object or form. – Britannica

Creativity is the ability to produce or develop original work, theories, techniques, or thoughts. A creative individual typically displays originality, imagination, and expensiveness. Creative thinking refers to the mental processes leading to a new invention or solution to a problem. Products of creative thinking include new machines, social ideas, scientific theories, artistic works and more. – APA Dictionary of Psychology.

The common keywords that appear in these definitions are – "Original", "Unusual", "New", "Imagination" and "Solutions to a problem".

Another important theme which arises from these definitions is: Creativity is Field Agnostic. As it is a way of thinking and coming up with original ideas, a creative person can belong to any field – be it Art, Business, Science or Sports.

Image credit: Manfred Steger Pixabay

Changing gears from definition, let’s turn our focus towards any child around you, or you can reflect back to the time when you were a child yourself. Do you see Imaginative Play? Do you see Abundant Possibilities? Do you hear “I want to become an Astronaut", "I want to be a bus-driver"? 😊 But what happened to us, now when we are adults? Long serious faces, too practical, realistic and conservative in the way we think. Somewhere during the journey of growing up, our Creativity got lost in the way.

As Sir Ken Robinson provocatively suggests in his TED Talk, did a standardized, formal schooling/training and expectations of a way of life from our significant adults made us trade iff Creativity with becoming straight-jacketed herds, robot-like individuals who are part of the crowd, a cog in the wheel without any stand-out attributes? Food for thought for all of us (rather a buffet of thoughts).

We changed gears above and rammed into gloominess. What do we do now? Put our cars in neutral gear, put the hands on the brake and stay put with not being creative for the rest of our adult life.

Or is there a creative solution to come out of this gloominess and step into a brighter weather? Hmm… maybe, How about (re)-learning Creativity?

Image credit: Lionness of Africa website

Contrary to the popular belief that 'creativity is innate and cannot be learned’, Dr Tina Seelig, Professor of Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Stanford University says, “Creativity can’t be learned is a myth”. She says the truth is that everyone has creativity, and enhancing it only takes a bit of time and practice.

Dr Tina Seelig has made understanding Creativity and teaching it her life’s mission. She started off her research as a Neurophysiologist, then moving to the world of business and to Stanford to teach Creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.

In her book, inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity (Harper Collins 2012), she points out that we look at creativity in a much too narrow way and must look at it in a new light.

She uses an “Innovation Engine” model to explain how she thinks creativity works.

Image credit: Dr Tina Seelig

The Innovation Engine has two parts:

The Inside is You (internal) - Knowledge, Imagination and Attitude.

The Outside is the External World – Resources, Culture and Habitat.

Let’s do a dip-stick in each of these six concepts:

  1. Imagination:

 Most people start thinking about Creativity with Imagination. However, one of the sad thing is we don’t really teach people how to increase imagination in school.

For example, in kindergarten, a Maths problem is framed as 5+5 = ?. The answer is 10 and it’s the only one correct answer. Can we ask the question differently to generate more than one answer and unleash imagination? What if we asked children what two numbers add up to 10. ? + ? = 10. All of a sudden now, there is now infinite possible correct answers.

Therefore, Rethinking or Reframing the Question, leads to interesting answers. As a matter of fact, the Copernican Revolution, that redefined the model of the Solar System with the Sun in the center instead of the Earth, began with reframing the questions - What if the Sun was in the center?

Indulging oneself in Humour are fun ways of learning how to frame questions differently. After all, humor works only when the semantics unexpectedly switch in the middle of the joke. So, indulge in humor everyday to increase your imagination.

The second method to develop one's imagination is by the practice of Connecting and Combining unrelated ideas. She gives an example of Chindogu (a Japanese Art), in which the inventors create un-useless inventions. "Un-useless items" are objects that are neither useful nor useless at the same time. Chindogu is a fun way to improve your imaginative skills

The third method for developing your imagination is by Challenging Assumptions, via getting breakthrough ideas. By staying in the current set of assumptions, one limits themselves and turn a blind eye to other existing possibilities/opportunities.


  1. Knowledge:

Knowledge is the toolbox for your imagination.

Think about it; in today’s world, revolutionary ideas and breakthroughs are happening by combining the knowledge of different domains, into one integrated interface. Examples include Biomedical Engineering, Behavioural Economics etc.

Apart from the formal way of gaining knowledge (schools and books), one should pay attention to the real-world events that occur in their day-to-day life.

By not paying enough attention and by going through each phase of life as it is, one misses out on various opportunities for solving a problem as well as the solutions that are lying in front of them, waiting to be discovered.

Dr Seelig advocates a method of revisiting the places which we frequent on a routine basis and consciously pay attention to the surroundings. Take in new perceptions, new perspectives, use the mind-mapping method (draw/make notes) of the observations you make in your surroundings.       

  1. Attitude:

Attitude is the motivation, mindset and drive for solving the problems. Unless one has the right attitude and spark alive, they will not be able to go after these problems and solve them.

Dr Seelig opines, most people unfortunately have the attitude of ‘Puzzle Solver’. The problem with this mindset is, if one or two pieces of the puzzle set is missing, they are literally stuck and this lose the motivation to complete the puzzle.

So she recommends developing the attitude of the ‘Quilt Maker’, because a quilt maker will make use of any available resources to complete their goal (quilt). The attitude of the Quilt Maker makes for a true innovator and entrepreneur.  

  1. Habitat:

Habitat is the environment around you, which influences one’s creativity. It includes the people we work with, the rules, rewards, constraints, as well as incentives, among others.

Dr Seelig makes special emphasis on the physical space and draws our attention to the idea of the kindergarten for children. She points out that the kindergarten’s physical space is vibrant, bright, colorful and hence stimulating to the child’s playful, creative nature. Fast-forward it to university classrooms and office cubicles, and the contrast becomes quite apparent. From the vibrant, colorful kindergarten habitat to the monochromatic, cramped-up classrooms and office spaces is so obvious. And ironically,, we wear t-shirts with doodles of the phrase "Think Out of the Box" while we work monotonously in the same cubicle).

One way of looking at the physical space is by perceiving it as a stage on which we have to enact the various phases of our life. A physical space which is playful fosters one’s imagination and creativity. No wonder why innovative companies like Google and Pixar have one thing in common – a playful physical space (i.e. the office environment).

  1. Resources:

Dr Seelig points out, most people restrain their thinking by equating resources with only money. The idea here is to broaden our aperture and look at resources which encompass not only money, but also people, skills, natural resources and culture.

At the end of the day, it always boils down to how we can make sense of the resources we currently have as opposed to the resources we don’t have.

  1. Culture:

“Culture is the background music of any community, of any organization, of every team and of every family.” – Dr Tina Seelig.

A culture that supports an imaginative, multidisciplinary approach, which allows mistakes to be made, which encourages experimentation, which encourages challenging the established norms, eventually ignites creativity. Creativity, therefore, can thrive only when the culture is conducive enough for an individual to question, react and respond to the different phenomena that exists around and within us.  

If we look at the Innovation Engine model closely, we would see that it is a Mobius Strip.

This depicts, none of these 6 factors can be looked at in isolation. The Inside (You) and the External (Outside World) is woven together.

Imagination and Habitat are parallel to each other. The Habitat we build is the manifestation of our imagination. After all, our Habitat is capable of creating an impact on our imagination.

Knowledge and Resources are parallel to each other. Knowledge unlocks the resources; the more we know, the more resources we can unlock. In turn, the more resources we unlock, the more knowledge we produce.

Culture and Attitude are parallel to each other. Culture is the collective attitude of the community. Also, the culture shapes our attitude.

The Mobius Strip model also enables us to start our creativity journey from anywhere in these 6 elements. As an individual, one can start with developing knowledge or one can start with building an attitude etc.

Most importantly, everyone has the key to their Innovation Engine. It is upon us to put the key in, start our Innovation Engine and rekindle our dormant Creativity!

You can watch Dr Tina Seelig’s TEDx Talk on Creativity @ YouTube: 

Link to Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on Does School Kill Creativity? on YouTube: 

For detailed reading you can look up for Dr Tina Seelig’s book inGenius – A Crash Course on Creativity. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Need for Integrating Life Skills in Academics

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

From my lived experiences, I can strongly vouch that there is more to school education than studying for unit tests, preparing for board exams, and seeking admission at premier institutes. After all, an individual’s school life is a major phase of their lifetime, isn’t it? While knowledge acquisition is often prioritised, the need to develop a student to face practical situations in one’s life is disregarded. Moreover, the homogeneity that prevails in the faculty’s (and in turn the school’s) manner of assessing students, without acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, eventually results in a generalized attempt at personality development of these students through extracurricular activities.

This inability of an educational institution to conduct individual assessments as well as counseling sessions of students usually results in the latter’s lack of awareness about their own selves, their interests, their potentials, what they are good at, and so on. Thus, it is undoubtedly imperative to give primacy to the study of Life Skills at school, a subject (or a discipline, rather) that is often administered incorrectly by the school authorities and thus fail to address the final problem - the absence of practicality in education.

What are Life Skills?

The term “Life Skills” can be defined as an academic field which is not exactly academic in nature but does contribute significantly to the process of personality development within a child. Basically, the inclusion of Life Skills in the school curriculum helps students to identify, analyze and resolve practical problems in the real world. In other words, Life Skills often serve as a bridge that facilitates the interdisciplinary association of daily life activities with that of school education.

Speaking from my own experience and by comparing the inter-generational upbringing (that is, how I grew up in the 80's-90’s, and how my son is growing up now), I strongly feel that we naturally imbibed life skills as part of our growing-up process. We played on the streets, we made friends with kids across the socio-economic strata because we didn’t live in homogenized-gated communities; our schools were humbler, transportation to schools was either walking or travelling in public transport and getting scolding (also, occasional beating) from teachers was the norm.

We have robbed today’s school-going generation from these simple pleasures and experiences of life by over-protecting them, limiting their exposure within the posh-gated communities, and today’s school management and teachers will conduct themselves with the do’s and don’ts protocol.

Hence, I am a big proponent of the need for Life Skills as part of formal education, to equip the students to face the real world outside their comfort zone of the school campus and the home environment as well.

Life Skills in the School Curriculum

Life Skills as a field consists of 5 types, each of which focus on a different aspect of an individual’s personality development. These 5 sub-skills are not only beneficial to individuals as students, but also help them immensely in their adulthood, while making career choices as well as taking their own responsibilities as independent individuals. At the end, the very purpose of Life Skills is to provide the requisite practical knowledge to students so that they can take their decisions wisely;

  • Academic and Research Skills

Photo by on Unsplash

Yes, most schools fail to inculcate the required academic and research skills among students to help them study with a holistic approach. Oftentimes, covering lessons becomes tedious for students, which results in rote learning, plagiarism, or cheating. While the choices of favourite subject(s) would influence the study method for each student, it is important that they are able to learn first. In short, a school should help students learn about the moot point or concept of a lesson, accompanied by its context and outcome. Learning without conceptual understanding is best depicted by the hit Bollywood song "All Is Well" from the movie 3 Idiots - "Confusion hi confusion hai, Solution kuch pata nahin/Solution jo mila toh sala, Question kya tha pata nahin" 🙂. Be it History, Physics or Literature, inculcating the basic skills of academic research would assist them in ways unimaginable. Be it through case studies in doctoral programs or investigations conducted for work, people would be able to process, understand and implement the information they receive in the most practical ways possible.

  • Interpersonal Skills

Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

Language is key. “But for what?” you may wonder. Language is more than just talking to people. Language helps you articulate your thoughts, express yourself, as well read these words that are scattered across your screen (albeit in an orderly manner). But yes, the first two points I mentioned (talking to people and expressing yourself) are encapsulated within the term “Interpersonal Skills”. To be precise, interpersonal skills help individuals to communicate effectively with other people so that the transfer of information (instructions, ideas, or messages) is conducted successfully. With the increasing reliance on virtual interaction (with the cameras switched off), communication in the real-world scenarios have become more complex. Stammering out of hesitation, lack of foresight in speech, and the inability to articulate one’s thoughts clearly have become some of the major issues of underdeveloped language skills. And yes, these issues arise from both language fluency as well as social skills. Hence, the school authorities must consider organizing inter-school fests, team sports, community services and student-exchange programs so that pupils can get a firsthand experience of social interaction with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

  • Emotional Quotient

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

While interpersonal skills are a major part of social skills, the psychological aspect of it entails the next type of Life Skills - that is, developing the student’s Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ). An individual’s ability to perceive and manage one’s emotions in a said situation has a significant impact on how they react and respond to someone or something. Necessitating Emotional Development through curricular and extracurricular activities would contribute significantly to the wellbeing of an individual. In fact, having a positive degree of Emotional Intelligence would help individuals to tackle practical circumstances with the right reactions and/or responses. Today’s 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) work place is characterised by VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). To succeed in this dynamic environment, high EQ (Emotional Quotient) is a much-needed life skill. This can be facilitated in the school environment by conducting counselling sessions on a regular basis. Besides, the teaching faculty should be mindful of the varying levels of emotional intelligence among students, and that each student should be given proper attention so that they are able to develop emotional resilience within their own selves and thus become prepared to face real-world scenarios with a more mature outlook.

  • Financial Awareness

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

From my lived experiences, I can say most of us are told to “study well, get good grades, so that you can get a good job and earn well”. Today in my mid-forties, I look back with a sarcastic smile and ask, “How come no one taught us what to do with the money we earn from our so-called good jobs?”. Through research and common sense, it is evident due to the lack of financial literacy, the majority of the population do not gain financial freedom despite being in high earning jobs throughout their working life. Handling finances should be a major part of the school curriculum. As a matter of fact, Financial Literacy barely gets any attention at all in the school curriculum since it is often considered unimportant to the student’s overall development. What is more unfortunate is that the Indian school system fails to recognise the need to educate the students regarding the management of personal finances. After all, the ability to measure expenses and earnings of an individual has long-term implications. Whether it is opening a bank account, investing in mutual funds or seeking loans, students should be taught to handle finances from an early age. While the school authorities can consider organizing Financial Literacy sessions in the campus, parents should encourage their children to look for gigs to earn their pocket money. At the same time, both educators and parents should also teach the students to monitor their own expenses and earnings. That way, students will be able to develop habits such as avoiding debt, saving up, and investing to build their financial resources.

  • Career Skills

Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

With this, we come to the final type of Life Skills which does have intricate connections with academic accomplishments as well as soft skill training. As students eventually learn about their strengths and weaknesses, develop their interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, as well as educate themselves regarding wealth management at the individual level, it is highly imperative to include Career Skills as a major segment in Secondary and Higher Secondary Education system in India. In fact, Career Guidance and Career Education is part of the formal schooling systems in OECD member countries. By hosting career induction programs in the campus, students can be exposed to the huge array of career options that they can pursue on the basis of their potential and interests. However, the school has a bigger role to play in this case - helping students recognise their own capabilities. As students take part in curricular and cocurricular activities, they will be able to make better decisions with the passage of time, in terms of their own pursuits as well as that of the collective whole. And, in turn, students will also be able to learn about their abilities and limitations. With further assistance from the school and the parents, students will be able to make good choices not only regarding the right career path for themselves, but also the necessary professional knowledge and technical skills that they are acquainted with for the said job position.

The need to deem Life Skills as an indispensable element in academics should be recognised by educators and parents alike. The absence of dialogue among policymakers and educators (along with parents) can be viewed as one of the many reasons why Life Skills is misrepresented among students as just another school subject that is easy to study. By reducing an important academic element into an exam paper eventually culminates into the lack of emotional resilience, the inability to handle finances, tendency to make poor decisions in life, or even being unable to talk to other people fluently. The effect (or effects, in this case) are quite psychological, and thus the repercussions are equally difficult to cope with.

Hence, now more than ever, it is of utmost necessity to look at Life Skills as not only a compulsory feature in the school syllabus but should also be implemented with much precision and planning. Organizing workshops on Financial Literacy, collaborating with other schools to hold student-exchange events, as well as conduct counseling sessions on a regular basis can be viewed as some of the primary steps for educators to prioritize Life Skills at the school-level. At the same time, parents should also endeavor to provide the proper ambience and interact with their wards transparently so that they can become capable of taking their responsibilities and making their decisions as individuals. Most of all, Life Skills is a way for us to manifest the aspirations of a better world with the help of our future - our kids.

Blog Collaborator: Apurba Ganguly (she/her) is an English literature student, pursuing B. Ed (English). She has been eager to understand the intricacies of Memory Studies and Visual Narratives.