India continues to face a growing gap in maintaining a skilled labor force, or knowledge workers, to conduct some of the nation’s most critical – though often overlooked – jobs. Support and paramedical staff represent this segment in the healthcare industry; individuals are required to perform a skilled job without access to a job competency driven curriculum or having undergone formal training. According to industry experts, India’s health care sector faces a shortage of 1 million nursing assistants. Wadhwani Foundation strives to meet this need by producing quality, open source training solutions.
Wadhwani Foundation worked closely with practitioners at Narayana Health to identify critical nursing and patient care skills, job needs, required training processes, as well as curriculum and generic content. The Foundation’s instructional design team restructured course content to leverage experiential, peer-driven, interactive, and learner-centric pedagogies. By using videos, games, simulations, and group activities to deliver content, Wadhwani Foundation’s approach ensures that students receive a 360 degree learning experience. All courses are deployed using an easily accessible online technology platform, reducing the dependence on and workload of teachers, while providing flexibility for students to study at their own pace and location.
Elaborating further on the successful partnership with Narayana Health,Ajay Kela, Wadhwani Foundation’s CEO, said, “ Job outcomes should be the main criteria by which we evaluate skill training and the best way to develop such courses is to work hand in glove with the employers. In partnership with Narayana Health, one of India’s largest healthcare service providers, we have successfully created a technology-enabled curriculum for comprehensive training of healthcare workers that will be available to the Industry. This pilot is part of the Foundation’s larger vision to develop a market ready skilled force across industries through our innovative and scalable technology solution. Our partnership with Narayana Health is a positive first step in that direction .”
The carefully designed job competency curriculum includes typical medical procedures, as well as functional English, Life & Workplace skills, Basic IT skills, Occupational Safety, Health & Environment training, and Medical Math. More than 210 hours of content has been developed since early 2013 and the curriculum continues to be piloted for skill upgradation with new nurses, patient care assistants, and other new and existing healthcare support staff. Feedback from students has been uniformly positive with every single student preferring it to traditional classes.
Narayana Health is mainstreaming Wadhwani Foundation’s initiative as part of its comprehensive professional development plan for all employees. Wadhwani Foundation has begun to roll out its healthcare curriculum to other healthcare providers. The roadmap also includes deployment of NH internal training in feeder and community colleges/ and other training providers. WF is also in discussions with AICTE and the Healthcare Sector Skills Council to make the courseware a part of the national school and college curriculum through the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). The stage is set for a revolution in job driven education. BWI