The nature of learning has changed but our educational institutions haven’t kept pace with that.
The education employment gap is our biggest challenge at the moment. And unless we deal with it expeditiously we are going to have whole generations of students who will not empower to participate in the economic activities. So that’s why by the end of this academic year, we will have the National Vocational Education Framework in place, where we will actually introduce through frame work vocational education at the high school level (after class VIII) which will then seamlessly integrate into vocational training in the polytechnics. This in the future should be embedded in engineering institutions.
The nature of technology has changed and so has the nature of learning but our educational institutions haven’t kept pace with that. Results that what we are taught in college is different from the way we actually use that knowledge in the workplace. So, one of our biggest challenges is to make that dissemination of knowledge to the university level relevant to the employer. Empowering young people through vocational training becomes a global exercise and is not just limited to the kind of shift in pedagogy that is going to have to happen in the developed world.
Ideally most of this should be done at the school level and because we want to empower schools with vocational training programs, which are relevant in the area in which they are located. So, if it’s in Moradabad the schools around Moradabad should offer to the children of the community living where the kind of vocations that the parents are pursuing. And therefore if its textiles, it should be in Ludhiana and if it’s something like animation then Mumbai would be the must apt destination for any aspirant to pursue their animated dreams. In fact, there are enormous vocations that we are not even aware of at the central level. So, we need to take the states on board and have the states evolve their policy of vocational training.
If the automobile industry is in Pune and Tamil Nadu, that’s where the vocational training for the automobile sector should take place. Because what happens is that around those industries there is a whole generation of people who get settled over the years and work for the industries. And eventually their children too become extremely interested in embracing the same profession and take it forward from there through generations. So, that’s the kind of strategy the nation, has to adopt that these people have the requisite skills and qualifications to take up these opportunities in those area. We can do that only when we have a National Vocational Education Framework because like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) degree, we should be able to have a vocational degree of the equivalence of CBSE so that with that certificate a candidate is actually able to go to the market and find a job.
We are now working with various industries to achieve just that. Take for example the construction industry. With the economy moving forward we are looking at making maximum investments in infrastructure. This will create a lot of job opportunities in the construction industry. But unfortunately we don’t have any courses to help people develop the right kind of skills. So, we are now going to work with the construction industry and discuss ways to bridge the gap. In unison with them we will chalk out an effective syllabus pattern, so that when the student gets the certificate in a vocational course at a class XII level he /she should be ready enough?
Well, we have to. It’s a national imperative. Therefore we have to be committed to be able to ensure that our young have an avenue to participate in the economic plan of the nation.