Muraleedharan Manningal


In the rapidly evolving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, the Information and Communication Technology Academy of Kerala (ICTAK) has established itself as a trendsetter in innovation and excellence. Since its inception in 2014, as a collaborative venture between the Government of Kerala, the Government of India, and prominent IT industry players, ICTAK has been instrumental in boosting the employability of Kerala‘s youth. With an impressive accomplishment of training over 120,000 students and facilitating more than 14,000 successful job placements, ICTAK has emerged as a key contributor to the skilled workforce in the region. This article delves into ICTAK’s commitment to superior training programs and its adoption of best practices in training delivery, emphasising its transformative impact on the ICT sector.

Highlight of Adopting Best Practices for Effective Training Delivery

ICTAK’s approach to training transcends traditional educational methods, setting a new benchmark in ICT education. The core strategy emphasises equipping trainees with the essential skills necessary for success in the competitive ICT landscape. This is achieved through a meticulously crafted curriculum, incorporating both technical knowledge and practical application. The academy’s commitment to integrating best practices, including adaptive teaching methodologies, interactive sessions, hands-on training, and cutting-edge technology, ensures that programs are not only effective but also highly relevant to current industry demands. This approach significantly enhances the employability and technical proficiency of its trainees.

Furthermore, ICTAK’s training methodology continuously evolves to align with global trends, crucial in the dynamic field of ICT. Regular updates to the curriculum reflect these changes, ensuring relevance and effectiveness. Feedback mechanisms from the industry and trainees help refine the training process, fostering a culture of lifelong learning and preparing trainees to meet ICT sector challenges. These best practices in training delivery bolster the learning experience and cement ICTAK’s position as a leader in ICT education.

The PERL Model: A Framework for Success

The Positive Engagement in Real- Time Learning (PERL) model (Fig. 1), at the heart of ICTAK’s training effectiveness, represents a paradigm shift in ICT education. This sophisticated framework synergizes various innovative teaching methodologies to maximise learner engagement and knowledge retention. It emphasises interactive, engaging learning reflective of real-world scenarios. The PERL model incorporates immersive experiences, including project-based tasks and collaborative activities, ensuring learners actively participate in their educational journey.

Fig 1 : PERL Model

Fig 1: PERL Model

Moreover, this focus on real-time learning, supplemented by advanced digital tools,PERL model emphasizes real-time learning, exposing students to current trends and technologies as they emerge. Integrating current industry practices into the curriculum ensures learners acquire relevant, up-to-date knowledge and develop immediately applicable skills. creates an interactive and accessible learning environment. This blend makes the PERL model a robust framework, contributing to high engagement and success rates among trainees and preparing them for the demands of the ICT industry.

Crafting Tailored Training Programs

ICTAK distinguishes itself in the realm of ICT training through its ability to develop tailored training programs that are finely tuned to meet the specific needs of its learners. These programs are uniquely demand-driven and practical, ensuring that the curriculum is not only aligned with current industry requirements but is also responsive to evolving trends in the ICT sector. By emphasising inclusivity and affordability in these training programs, ICTAK is able to extend its reach to a diverse array of learners, thereby bridging the gap between different socio-economic backgrounds and the world of ICT. This approach ensures that all individuals, regardless of their financial or social standing, have access to high-quality training, instrumental in fostering a more inclusive and diverse ICT workforce.

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Dynamic Training Delivery Methods

In an era marked by the challenges of the post-COVID landscape, ICTAK has adeptly revolutionised its approach to training delivery. Recognizing the need for more engaging and effective teaching methodologies, the academy has adopted a range of dynamic and interactive techniques. These include hands-on exercises that provide practical experience and real-world simulations that offer a glimpse into the actual challenges faced within the ICT industry. Such methods not only facilitate a more engaging learning experience but also ensure that the training is deeply relevant to the real-world applications of ICT. This dynamic approach to training is pivotal in preparing students for the complexities and demands of the modern ICT landscape.

Ensuring Continuous Improvement

A cornerstone of ICTAK’s philosophy is its commitment to continuous improvement, realised through regular assessments and reflective practices. The academy employs comprehensive assessment strategies, including Training Needs Assessments (TNAs), to meticulously align training with both learner needs and the latest industry trends. This continuous loop of feedback and improvement ensures that the training programs remain at the cutting edge, consistently delivering value to students and staying in step with the rapid advancements in the ICT sector.

Success Stories: Realising the Impact of PERL and the YIP Program

The efficacy of ICTAK’s training methodologies, particularly the PERL model, is vividly illustrated through the success stories of its trainees. A prime example of this success is evident in the Young Innovators Program (YIP), a flagship initiative by the Government of Kerala and nurtured by ICTAK. The program stands out as a significant achievement, with ICTAK having trained 8,250 candidates and 5,600 students, providing them with a dynamic and immersive learning experience. The success of the YIP program is a testament to ICTAK’s comprehensive and innovative approach to training, which not only focuses on imparting employability- oriented skills but also fosters a culture of innovation and creativity among its learners. This blend of practical skills and innovative thinking is crucial in preparing students for the future challenges of the ICT industry.

Conclusion

ICTAK’s innovative approach, led by the PERL model and initiatives like YIP, underscores its commitment to providing state-of-the-art ICT training. This approach has enriched numerous careers and significantly contributed to the ICT industry, establishing ICTAK as a transformative entity in ICT workforce development in Kerala and beyond. As the technology landscape continues to evolve, ICTAK remains at the forefront, adapting and innovating its training methods to meet the industry’s ever-changing demands. In doing so, ICTAK not only transforms individual careers but also plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the ICT workforce in Kerala, marking a new chapter in ICT education and workforce development.

Views expressed by: Muraleedharan Manningal, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala

 

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