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Vocational Education in India to Start from Class VIII

Vocational Education in India

The state has taken the initiative to introduce vocational education at the secondary school level from Class VIII. The move is a part of the national drive to provide vocational training to 550 million students by 2022.

A few months ago Higher and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Tope had announced setting up vocational university in the state besides coming up with a policy on vocational education. As a step forward, the government on January 27 set up an 11-member committee headed by Swati Mujumdar, director of Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, for recommendations on various initiatives for vocational education in the state.

“The committee has been assigned the responsibilities such as setting up vocational university where under and postgraduate vocational courses could be taught, reviewing the present syllabus of vocational courses at Class XI and XII level, providing lateral and vertical mobility to students of vocational courses, recommending ways of accreditation for vocational courses and introducing vocational courses at secondary school level,” stated the resolution issued by assistant secretary Seema Dhamdhere.

When contacted, chairperson of the committee Swati Mujumdar said there was a need to introduce vocational courses at Class VIII level. “To do away with the drop out rate, it is necessary to give vocational training to the students that will provide them employment opportunities,” she said.

She said, “The World Bank Report 2006 (Skill Development in India, The Vocational Education and Training System) indicates that employers prefer students with general education skills in addition to vocational skills. Therefore, to make students more market worthy, curriculum in schools or institutions providing vocational education and training must emphasise on equipping students with general academic skills which may include problem solving, analysing, business development and marketing skills.”

“An independent vocational university with industry participation is also the need of the hour. With an independent university, students will be able do undergraduate courses that are required and designed by the industry. The present vocational courses can be affiliated to the new varsity,” said Mujumdar. “The first meeting of the committee will be held in a week,” she added.