Anupum ShrikandiaThe world bank’s World development report 2019 titled ‘Changing nature of work’ shows the need of leverage technology to facilitate improved access to vocational education. Chile, for example, is leveraging technology to address information asymmetry by creating online platforms where students can access information on the employability of individuals with various degrees, wage profiles and courses to take for certain occupations. The report also enlist three factors that make feasibility between the general and vocational skills. Vocational jobs require more intense higher order general skills, implying that this type of skills cquisition should be accessible before and during ones working life. People trained in relatively narrow vocational skills would benefit from opportunities to gain new skills. For example democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania offer bridging arrangements that enable vocational graduates to continue in university.A critical challenge in the school education sector is the high dropout rate, especially in the secondary stage of school education. Students tend to drop school to enter the labour market as they perceive low returns from education. Despite low and almost stagnant enrollment in vocational stream across the nation over 40 per ent of students enrolled in classes 11-12 choose the science stream, while less than 2 per cent of students enrolled choose to pursue the vocational stream.Low enrollment in vocational education may be Co-related with the low coverage of vocational education in schools. As per the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2016-17 only 4084 schools offered National skill quality framework(NSQF)-compliant vocational education in the country. In fact only 50 per cent of states/UTs report a positive number of schools imparting vocational education with Haryana having the highest absolute number at 990 schools. Only six states and UTs-Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa as well as Andaman and Nicobar Island offered vocational education in more than 10 per cent of their schools in Reference year(2016-17). In terms of incremental progress from the base (2015-16) to reference year, 10 states and UTs improved the coverage of schools offering vocational education. Haryana witnessed the largest increment, where the number of schools offering vocational education increased by 9 per cent. Despite progress in these states and UTs the coverage of vocational education still remains less than 5 per cent in almost 75 per cent of the country.In addition to these challenges, the vocational education sector faces issues such as low industry linkages, inadequate number of trained teachers.The department of school education and literacy at Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is in-charge of developing and formulating national policies on vocational education at school level. Under the ambit of its recent launched Samagra Shiksha Scheme, the Govt is implementing the central sponsored scheme of Vocationalisation of school education to integrate vocational education with general academic education.The major aim of scheme is to prepare educated, employable and competitive human resourses for various sectors of the economy. The scheme covers students across both secondary and highersecondary stages in Govt managed schools.Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Central institute of Vocational Education(PSSCIVE) a constitute unit of NCERT is the nodal agency for curriculam and course development. All content is generated for National Skill Quality Framework (NSQF) compliant job roles in consultation with the sector skills counsils (SSCs), the representative bodies of industriy. Under this scheme students experience hands on training, field visits as well as Guest lectures from industry experts. The scheme currently covers more than 50 job roles across multiple sectors. MHRD is currently working with Ministry of skill development and Entrepreneurship on providing entrepreneurship training to students graduating with vocational subjects.At the state level, the state boards conduct external competency-based assessment of skills of students in collaboration with SSCs who are also responsible for practical assessments. The SSC depute certified assessors to the states to carry out their assesments. A joint certificate by the school board and the concerned Sector skill Council is issued to successful candiates.The CBSE also offers vocational education at both secondary and higher secondary stages. At the secondary level, it offers17 skilled subjects and 42 skilled subjects are offered at higher secondary level. These subjects span multiple sectors including retail, healthcare, banking and finance, apparel, media, information technology and even artifical intelligence.Further National Institute of Open Schooling, since 2016 also offers 100 vocational courses via open and distance learning mode.After completion of class 12, students have option to enter the job market, undertaking diploma level graduation programmes under polytechnics or pursue graduation programmes. All India Council for Technical Education (AICET) has recently introduced Degree/ Diploma programmes in Vocational education under the NSQF in over a dozen specialisations for AICTE approval insitutions. Under this scheme, the theoretical course component is administered by an industry partner approved by a Govt agency. Further UGC is implementing three schemes namely Community Colleges, B.Voc Degrees programmes, and Deen Dayal Upadhay Kaushal Kendras in Universities and Colleges to impart skill development based vocational courses and research programmes.
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