Posted by on April 29, 2017

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Comment by Bolanle C. Simeon-Fayomi
(English)
SCAIS Fellow/Visiting Senior Lecturer/Researcher, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

I find this article particularly of great interest as discuss in literature and education in all its form has being taken a very cursory view of soft skills as structures that are believed to have great impact on the output expected from the youths today. Particularly interesting is the articulation of the efforts of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and gathering of resources about soft skills informally in India. Having worked on researches on soft skills, I found many similarities with my own experience in the informal area on soft skills. The manuscript is well constructed, and with some revisions could make a nice contribution to the related field. To strengthen this article, so it would be ready for publication, I would suggest the following:

  1. The language use should be more fomalized. “Let’s take…” should be eliminated and also all the type of informal use of words and phrase should be eliminated to give the work more reading appeal in the virtual communities.
  1. The abstract should be reconstructed from the inert sense of ‘description’ to ‘appraisal or review’ The abstract should also include the context of the article in order to give direction to readers from initial contact
  1. The site of teaching and learning of soft skills seems too broad. India has is a vast collection of complex cultures, ethnicities and to generalize about all these groups oversimplifies the complexity that exist within formal and non formal teaching settings. Also, some mention must be made of what have hitherto be and why PRIA work is innovative and what kind of bridge (s) it is building on what particular gap (s).
  1. Since at the later end, the article started focusing on a region, it would be practical to refer to this context early in the work and build the subject of the intervention around it. This will help the author focus on the region which is familiar rather than the whole of India. A knowledge of ‘how the principles of participatory action research to change the mind sets of the communities and challenge stereotypes’ is being done would strengthen the manuscript to provide a short explanation of an example and how this is significant in a nonformal educational experience. Following an inclusion of this example with the review of the literature on it, the using of it make sense of what is happening and could be quite informative.
  1. The introduction has some sweeping statements and the opening of the manuscript is not supported by the literature. I would suggest strengthening the introduction with references
  1. The conclusion contains a myriad of over-generalizations about the importance of soft skills in education scheme, youth involvement, gaps etc., without any resources or data to support this is quite problematic. Where did the information that soft skills development has /will help to form a better youth come from? Also, although the article is potentially informative, there is still the need to answer questions, include literature where and when necessary  and a  good bit more explanation.

Thank you.

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