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Significance of soft skills for teaching and personality development
In this era of market economy and globalization, generic soft skills are being seen as a part of employability skills as well as that of professional studies and training. Soft skills are related to development of emotional intelligence, personality traits, manners, social graces, communication, personal habits, belongingness and optimism that often characterise relationships with other people.

At workplaces and in academic institutions, soft skills should complement hard skills related IQ, content mastery, cognitive or higher order thinking skills, etc., which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities. In educational institutions, soft skills both by teachers and learners are seen as a pre-condition to learning and personality development.

For better development of students and their employability, the CBSE has made learning of soft skills along with academics as a part of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) scheme but due to no investment in the development of teachers' own soft skills up gradation and lack of role model institution, the scheme has not augured well, I think.

Nonetheless, as a part of quality teaching, educational institutions must integrate the development of soft skills by making use of the techniques of cooperative, expeditionary and group learning, I feel.

Since, these days, soft skills are being increasingly sought out by employers in addition to standard qualifications for jobs; many soft skills can be made integral to co-curricular activities. The age-old and orthodox co-curricular and extra mural activities should be replaced by development of soft skills activities and inter-personal experiences.

Some of the new activities taken up by institution should be related to team building, teaching others, organizing social service, holding interactive sessions, doing behavioural and etiquette case studies, holding constructive discussions and meaningful conversations, and planning activities.

Thus, soft skills can be seen as personal and social abilities acquired effort fully that enhance an individual's interactions, relating to others, employability, functionality, effectiveness and efficiency.

The schools must emphasise the development personal traits and human qualities like integrity, time management, empathy, manners and constructive communication built into the teaching-learning conditions and processes rather than teaching soft-skills as separate subject.

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