Entrepreneurship education is about imparting entrepreneurial education from the
School level as this is a critical time when children and youth are, in fact, at their most entrepreneurial best. If we can expose learners to entrepreneurship from an early age, we will be able to lay a solid foundation which can be further cemented with entrepreneurship in the higher education and training level. At school and college level it implies a cultural change which will only happen if the teaching culture progresses across the whole system of higher education. Entrepreneurship education is essentially about developing an entrepreneurial mindset among the students. Research shows that teachers play the key role in entrepreneurship education. Many – probably most – existing teachers have little or no experience of entrepreneurship education. Perceptions of what it means vary greatly. For many teachers entrepreneurship means what happens in businesses; and entrepreneurship education is an extra-curricular activity. Studies show that attitudes to entrepreneurship in the classroom can be hostile until it is appreciated that the broader definition of entrepreneurship embraces a wide range of skills and attitudes around creativity, innovation etc. Teachers themselves need to develop the attitudes and values which are at the core of entrepreneurship education (e.g. tolerance to failure, sense of initiative, creativity), because teachers cannot foster these attitudes amongst their pupils if they do not believe in themselves and if they are not convinced of their benefits. Continuous orientation programme on entrepreneurship and teacher education is a key tool in developing positive attitudes to entrepreneurship amongst teachers and in helping teachers adopts new methods of facilitating learning.
Entrepreneurship Orientation Programmes for teachers will best prepare teachers to deliver entrepreneurship education by providing them with the necessary skills and by fostering entrepreneurial attitudes. Teachers can enhance the students’ existing skills and thus help them to overcome “the fear of the failure “. Entrepreneurship Orientation Programme the potential to develop agents of change in our education systems. Focus is given to facilitate faculty/ teachers to teach entrepreneurship as a subject at school/college level. The idea is to stimulate the teachers for motivating students to take up entrepreneurship as a career option.
Entrepreneurship Education teaches students to recognize and seize diverse opportunities for taking up a career. This allows people to work in environments that best suit them. As a result, there is greater individual satisfaction as compared to being conventionally employed workers. Market diversification increases a consumer’s options and allows for more dynamic competition.
Unemployment is a rampant problem in our society. Entrepreneurship education aims at empowering people to create employment opportunities. The aim of this training is to enable these people to start the small and medium enterprises important for a country’s growth.
Entrepreneurship education builds up competencies required for starting an enterprise. In addition, this education empowers people to have self discipline since entrepreneurship involves taking well calculated risks. People who have gone through this kind of training are able to recognize opportunities. Entrepreneurship education also encourages innovation in operating of organizations.
Over the years, a number of Entrepreneurship Education Programmes have been organised both for teachers and students and the outcome of the programmes have been very encouraging.
Impact of the Programmes
Each Entrepreneurship orientation training programme had some definite benefits which may have several positives percolating down to the college and school level. Students could be motivated and encouraged towards entrepreneurship only when their educator, their teachers convincingly talked about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. While conducting the Entrepreneurship Orientation Programmes for teachers, few of the positives which came out of the programme are as stated below:
Entrepreneurship education means significant changes in how teachers teach, moving from communicators of knowledge to facilitators of learning. Teacher training and orientation programme has the potential to develop agents of change in our education system. It can provide teacher with learning opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and attitudes, needed to deliver entrepreneurship education. Through training teachers were equipped with the specific skills and knowledge to implement the pedagogy of entrepreneurship. The initial step in bringing a cultural change as regards entrepreneurial education at the school/college level seemed to have been achieved to a great extent. It is assumed that if the teaching culture progresses with the new learning across the whole system, changes towards entrepreneurship as a subject to be taught in colleges and schools and to be taken as a career option shall definitely happen over the coming years. And through each of the EOP training, it was aimed to close the gap ‘on the thinking’ on the difference between a job and entrepreneurship, and both being of equal importance as a career option. Also, encouraging teachers to see themselves as a link between entrepreneurship education and was attempted through programmes. Teachers were trained to see into the relevance and contribution of individual subject disciplines towards both entrepreneurship and job as a career option. .
Teachers serve as the role model for their students. Each student looks up to the teacher for guidance, information, knowledge and help. In this capacity, the EOP trainings were aimed to create brand ambassador of the teachers, who could enlighten their students through dissemination of knowledge about enterprise, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.
Through a mix of teaching, learning, formal and otherwise, teachers could impart a lot of new and basic knowledge about entrepreneurship and take the first step in changing the mindset of the young generation, the students.
Students look up to their teacher for new knowledge and right guidance; and the initial knowledge and information that they will receive from their teachers shall have greater impact. Also, as the students spend most of the active hours in school and college, they can be better exposed to the concept through practical orientation over a longer period of time.
Outcome of Entrepreneurship Orientation Programme:
The specific highlights of the programmes are:
Changes in the personality of the teachers.
Changes in the behaviour and thinking of teachers.
Teachers act as brand ambassadors of entrepreneurship.
Teachers act as a mentor/guide to students interested in entrepreneurship.
Recognize entrepreneurship as a viable career option for students.
Familiarise students to the idea of entrepreneurship alongside any other career.
Benefit to society and community in the long-run from the changed thinking and mind-set.
Outcome of Entrepreneurship Awareness Programme:
The specific highlights of the programmes are:
Students became aware of entrepreneurship.
Change in personality and mind-set among the students.
Change in behaviour and openness in communication.
Students become motivated to take up entrepreneurship as career.