Skills in SCHOOL
In India, we believe that education is the key to the task of nation-building. It is also a well-accepted fact that providing the right knowledge and skills to the youth can ensure the overall national progress and economic growth. This young population should be considered as an invaluable asset which if equipped with knowledge and skills, can contribute effectively to the development of the national as well as the global economy.
India is referred to as a ’young nation’ with 28 million population of youth being added every year. Only about 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas about 12.8 million persons enter the labour market every year. About 90 per cent of employment opportunities require vocational skills, something that is not being imparted on a large scale in schools and colleges. The major reforms proposed for bringing about necessary ‘flexibility’ in the offering of vocational courses and development of ‘modular competency based curricula’ in collaboration with industry to suit the needs of both target groups and the employers (industry) will be useful in reducing the shortage of skilled manpower.
Government of India initiative
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has since late 2010 been engaged in an exercise to widen the scope of vocational education in government schools and the higher education system. Two specific initiatives of MHRD in this regard are notable: one, the vocational education provided to higher secondary school students run by the government is to be expanded by increased plan funding for the vocational education stream, which has been available in higher secondary schools since 1986. Second, the MHRD created an expert group in early 2011 to prepare a blue print radically transforming vocational education in the secondary and higher secondary school system of India to be called the NVEQF. The NVEQF has already been agreed too, in principle, by State Education Ministers in June, 2011.
JobsAcademy, in collaboration with NSDC & NVEQF has launched the pilot project in Haryana State. It involves the extension of vocational education to secondary level (classes 9-10), in addition to higher secondary level in government schools (classes 11-12). In addition, it involves the creation of National Occupation Standards by the private sector by Sector Skill Councils (to be created by NSDC), so that in the entire country all vocational stream students in secondary and higher secondary education, as well as in polytechnics and engineering colleges, will be trained by using common curriculum across the country, which will be based on these National Occupation Standards (NOSs). In other words, there has already begun a process which will lead to an expansion of training along these lines, which will gather the momentum over the years.