Vocational Education

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Vocational Education

 

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. The Indian education system recognizes the role of education in instilling the values of secularism, egalitarianism, respect for democratic traditions and civil liberties and quest for justice.
Combine the thought with the fact that India is a nation of young people - out of a population of above 1.1 billion, 672 million people are in the age-group 15 to 59 years, - which is usually treated as the “working age population”. It is also being predicted that India will see a sharp decline in the dependency ratio over the next 30 years, which will constitute a major ‘demographic dividend’ for India. In the year 2001, 11% of population of the country was in age group of 18-24 years which is expected to rise to 12% by the end of XI Five Year Plan. 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. The vision is to realize India’s human resource potential to its fullest in the education sector, with equity and inclusion.
The Report of the Education Commission (Kothari, 1964-66) which was titled ‘Education and National Development’, set a number of goals to be pursued. One of them was “to vocationalise secondary education.”
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India addressing the nation on Independence Day (2006), spoke of the need for a Vocational Education Mission and in Independence Day speech (2007) announced that 1600 new industrial training institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics, 10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new Skill Development Centres would be opened to ensure that annually, over 100 lakh students get vocational training, which would be a four-fold increase. The Finance Minister in his budget speech (2007) also mentioned the emerging shortages in the reservoir of skilled and trained manpower in a number of sectors. There is thus a need to expand the VET programmes to take advantage of the demographic dividend of the country and to fulfill the aspirations and right of the youth to gainful employment and contribute to national productivity.

 

System of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in India

 

The technical and vocational education and training system (TVET) in India develops human resource through a three-tier system:
 
• Graduate and post-graduate level specialists (e.g. IITs, NITs, engineering colleges) trained as engineers and technologists.
• Diploma-level graduates who are trained at Polytechnics as technicians and supervisors.
• Certificate-level for higher secondary students in the vocational stream and craft people trained in ITIs as well as through formal apprenticeships as semi-skilled and skilled workers.

 

There are more than 17 Ministries/Departments of Govt of India providing or funding formal/non-formal VET programmes. The total annual training capacity of VET programmes thus offered is estimated to be about 25 lakh. However there is a lot of variation among the various programmes in terms of duration, target group, entry qualifications, testing and certification, curriculum, etc. which has resulted in problems related to recognition of qualifications, equivalence and vertical mobility.

The programmes for promoting vocational education currently underway are placed at
Annexure I.

Need for Strengthening Vocational Education Programmes

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.
 

In addition the high drop out rate of students after Class X is significant and a cause of worry, as evident from the following statistics:

... ...
No of secondary schools (Cl IX- X )
1,23,265
No of higher secondary schools (Cl XI –XII) 60,383
No of students in secondary schools 2.89 cr
No of students in higher secondary schools 1.66 cr
Projected population of 14-16 age group 4.84 cr
Projected population of 16-18 age group 4.86 cr

 

Source: Selected Educational Statistics (2008-09) – provisional data. Population projections are based on census data compiled by Registrar General of India
 
It would be beneficial if these children, as also a large number of children who have the inclination, but are compelled to join formal secondary schooling, to be channelized into vocational education. This would lead to a system of education which is more meaningful and relevant in the local context. Gradually the ambit would be expanded to address the needs and aspirations of those engaged in traditional means of livelihoods too. The contribution of such educated youth would boost the state of the Indian economy through the thrust of the Govt on universalisation of secondary education, skill development and social justice through inclusive education and training. 

National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF)

The process of development of a National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) is presently underway. The NVEQF would set common principles and guidelines for a nationally recognized qualification system, covering schools, vocational education institutes and institutes of higher education with qualifications ranging from secondary to doctorate level, leading to international recognition of national standards.  Students would have the scope for vertical and horizontal mobility with multiple entry and exits. This would be especially useful to promote the creative genius of every child including children with special needs. The corner stone of the NVEQF would be the close partnership and collaboration with the industry/ potential employers at all stages starting from identification of courses, content development, training and provision of resource persons, assessment, accreditation, certification and placement
Extensive consultations with the State Govts have been carried out. A group of State Education Ministers from 12 States has been constituted to prepare the NVEQF. The working document on NVEQF prepared by a Coordination Committee was presented to the Group of State Education Ministers on 30thMay 2011. Detailed discussions were held on the issues and concerns from the perspective of the States. Further consultations are continuing to prepare a roadmap for implementation of the NVEQF.
There was unanimous endorsement of the Framework being developed by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) in the 58th meeting held on 7th June 2011.  

I.   Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education was launched in year 1988. The Scheme was implemented through State/UTs and NGOs /VA in the formal and non-formal sector respectively. The Scheme envisaged selection of vocational courses on the basis of assessment of manpower needs. The main objectives of the scheme, as spelt out in the National Policy on Education 1986, were to provide diversification of educational opportunities so as to enhance individual employability, reduce the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled manpower and to provide an alternative for those pursuing higher education.  Vocational Education was made a distinct stream intended to prepare students for identified occupations spanning several areas of activities.

The Scheme provides broad guidelines in respect of management structure, curriculum design, infrastructure development, vocational surveys, instructional material, teachers and their training, school-industry linkage, examination and certification, modification of recruitment rules, financial assistance to NGOs and other aspects.
Since inception of the scheme, 9,619 schools with about 21,000 sections have been created with an intake capacity of about 10.03 lakhs students.  About 150 vocational courses were being offered.  According to the evaluation conducted by Operations Research Group (1996) the proportionate share of vocational students vis-a vis total enrolment at the higher secondary stage was 4.8% and 28% of vocational pass outs were employed/self employed. Rs. 765.00 crore has been released to the State Governments and Non-Government Organizations. During 10th Plan an allocation of Rs. 350.00 crore was given under the scheme. An expenditure of Rs. 63.69 crore was incurred during 10th Plan Period.

The existing scheme is presently under revision to address the issue of enhancement of employability of youth through competency based modular vocational courses, to maintain their competitiveness through provision of multi entry and multi exit  learning opportunities and vertical mobility /interchangeability in qualifications, to fill the gap between educated and employable and to decrease the pressure on academic higher education.

2. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

CBSE is offering 34 Vocational courses consisting of 107 subject in its about 500 government and government aided schools across the country. During   the academic session 2007 - 08, Financial Market Management was introduced as vocational package in class 11. CBSE launched three new vocational courses, namely, “Hospitality and Tourism,” “Mass Media Studies & Media Production” and “Geospatial Technology” from the academic session 2010-11. CBSE is making efforts to introduce more such courses in collaboration with relevant industry/organization, and has facilities for joint certification.

 3. National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)

NIOS offers 82 vocational education courses through its accredited vocational Institutes which include Government Institutes, NGOs and Registered Societies. 1063 Accredited Vocational Institute (AVI) provide training to neo literates upto pre-degree level. NIOS.

4. Sub-Mission on Polytechnics
Under the scheme, it is proposed to establish 1000 Polytechnics in the country, the breakup of which is as under:
i. 300 Polytechnics to be set up by the State governments/Union Territories with assistance from government of India in unserved areas (district).
ii. 300 Polytechnics to be set up through Public Private Partnership by the State Governments/Union Territories. These 300 polytechnics will be selected in consultation with State Governments/Union Territories, various industrial organization such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHD Chamber of Commerce, etc.
iii. It is proposed to facilitate the creation of 400 additional Polytechnics by the private sector.
 

4.1 Establishment of New Polytechnics
Under the scheme, it is proposed to establish 1000 Polytechnics in the country, the breakup of which is as under:
i. 300 Polytechnics to be set up by the State governments/Union Territories with assistance from government of India in unserved areas (district).
ii. 300 Polytechnics to be set up through Public Private Partnership by the State Governments/Union Territories. These 300 polytechnics will be selected in consultation with State Governments/Union Territories, various industrial organization such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHD Chamber of Commerce, etc.
iii. It is proposed to facilitate the creation of 400 additional Polytechnics by the private sector.

4.2 Strengthening of Existing Polytechnics

It is proposed to upgrade infrastructure of existing diploma level, public funded Polytechnics by (i) providing financial assistance for modern equipment and replacement of obsolete equipments, (ii) providing modern facilities for application of IT in teaching, learning and testing processes and (iii) creating infrastructure facilities as well as introduction of new diploma courses.
 

4.3 Construction of Women’s Hostel in Polytechnics
In order to attract women in Polytechnic education, it is proposed to provide one time financial assistance for the construction of women’s hostel in 500 Polytechnics.

4.4   Community Polytechnics

Selected AICTE approved polytechnics run vocational programmes in the local area for community development under the Community Development Through Polytechnics (CDTP) scheme, Each Polytechnic runs short-term non-formal skill development programmes through 5 -10 extension centres in nearby villages.  Each Polytechnic provides training to about 600 persons every year in various skill/employment oriented trades ranging from 3 to 6 months. There is no age and qualification bar for trainees under the scheme and no fees is charged. 703 Polytechnics have been selected for implementing the scheme out of which 479 Polytechnics were provided financial assistance during 2009-10.

5. Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

JSS have evolved from the erstwhile Shramik Vidyapeeths to meet the educational and vocational training needs of illiterate and neo literate adults and young people in urban and rural India. Jan Shikshan Sansthans are set up by voluntary agencies, which are provided financial assistance for taking up vocational training programmes for illiterate and neo-literate persons, people belonging to socio-economically weaker sections, disadvantaged groups, unskilled and unemployed youth in the age group of 15-35 years. Within all these groups the Jan Shikshan Sansthans are expected to give priority to women.   A total number of 271 JSSs have been  sanctioned in different parts of the country.

6. Craftsmen training in ITIs :

DGE&T in Ministry of Labour & Employment conducts vocational training courses through 8,306 ITIs/ITCs (2140 Government ITIs & 6166 Pvt. ITCs) in 114 trades for school leavers. Duration of training courses varies from 6 months to 3 years and students with Classes 8 to 12 pass qualification can seek admission in these courses. The responsibility of opening of the ITIs and introduction of trades in ITIs rests with the respective State Governments. Efforts are made to update/revise curricula of courses offered by DGE&T regularly in consultation with the industry and State/UT Government to ensure that training is aligned to market needs & employment oriented. Each upgraded ITI covered under the above scheme would cater to the need of one Industrial Sector with active involvement of concerned Industry in all aspects of training.