Uh. Prabhat Kishore
Today’s global economy demands advanced, flexible and switchable skills. Previously, jobs were based on farming or family activity and young people learned it by working and observing experienced elders. But now, in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the focus is on technology-based expertise requiring a more skilled workforce. Only a qualified person can grow in today’s world. This is why investing in skills development is vital for a country’s growth and competitiveness.
Schools are the center of career building where learners are systematically endowed with knowledge, skills as well as attitudes. Gandhiji has always strived for basic education, which is based on learning by doing as well as gain by learning. But after independence, Gandhi’s vision of nationalist education remained under the rug. The main disadvantage of Macaulay’s current education system in India is that young people are in the hands of advanced degrees, but are deprived of proper vocational training, resulting in high unemployment. The education system should be geared towards producing graduates who have both strong basic skills as well as job specific skills.
The 12e The five-year plan (2012-17) estimated that only 4.69% of the Indian workforce in the 19-24 age group received formal vocational training compared to 24% in China, 52% in United States, 68% in United Kingdom, 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan and up to 96% in South Korea. India ranked 68th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2019 – one of the indices of which is skills development. Clearly, to make India internationally competitive and to boost its economic growth and productivity, a skilled workforce is essential.
In paragraphs 16.1 to 16.8 of the National Education Policy 2020, emphasis has been placed on vocational education to students so that it can help them improve their employability. At Samagra Shiksha, vocational and practical courses were introduced to generate among the students basic skills and dispositions to become qualified entrepreneurs. Vocational education will be gradually integrated into the educational offer of all secondary schools over the next decade. Skills labs will also be set up and created in schools according to a star model that will allow other schools to use the facility. Financial arrangements for the construction of a workshop / laboratory / classroom, tools and equipment, raw materials, trainers, etc. were formed.
The professionalization of school education has been aligned with the National Competency Qualification Framework (NSQF) and will lead to the introduction of vocational courses as well as general education subjects in grades 9 to 12. Central school boards / States should adequately redesign and notify the combination system. subjects to position the vocational subject as an additional subject in classes 9 and 10 and as a compulsory subject (optional) in classes 11 and 12. Exposure to vocational education will also be provided in upper primary classes, c Ie classes 6 to 8 to orient pupils with skills required for various professions and to help them choose their professional subjects at a higher level.
States will identify local employment opportunities and labor market requirements and, on this basis, vocational subjects will be introduced. The state should adopt two professional trades in each of the schools selected on the basis of a skills gap analysis, conducted either by the National School Development Council (NSDC) or by itself. Based on national occupational standards, the NSDC has notified 339 Level 4 (Class 12) positions in 22 sectors, including agriculture, automotive, beauty and wellness, gemstones and jewelry, l IT and IT, Security, Retail, Telecommunications, Tourism and Hospitality, Health, Plumbing, Electronics, Leather, Crafts, Media and Entertainment, Rubber, etc. When selecting courses, the state will ensure that the local skill needs of students are appropriately considered and that a suitable field of employment is available in neighboring areas.
Vocational courses would be competency-based and modular with specified credits and built-in arrangements for multiple-entry, multiple-exit and vertical mobility. Over time, the vocational courses offered by the school can be changed, if necessary. The choice of vocational courses will also take into account the aspirations of parents and students. Selected schools will have links to some local industries / businesses / factories / ITIs etc. for hands-on training and the design, development, delivery, assessment and certification of skill content.
The program will include communication skills, self-management skills, ICT skills, entrepreneurial skills and green skills to improve the employability of students. A minimum of 80 hours of workforce learning internship will help students develop personalized training plans, gain first-hand industry-related insights and labor market insights .
Vocational education and training (VET) helps bridge the skills gap between work and education. Through a properly planned and effectively implemented VET program, it is possible to prepare employable people for sustainable employment. The development of qualitative skills of the new generation is a national need and vocational education and training will be proven as a vehicle for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
(The author is a technocrat and academician. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from MN Regional Engineering College, Allahabad / Prayagraj)