Vocational Educational Framework soon

The programme to focus on the need to introduce relevant courses for skill development

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | May 23, 2011



To upgrade the school curriculum in order to meet the needs of industry, the HRD ministry will soon launch the National Vocational Qualification Framework in collaboration with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

The programme, meant for students in class eight to the plus 2 levels, will focus on the need to introduce relevant courses for skill development. Students pursuing this programme will receive a CBSE vocational degree on the lines of current CBSE academic degree.

Alka Bhargav, director of the Bureau of School Education at MHRD, says, “The worst part is that vocational education is looked down upon. Even if the child is good at his studies people feel that he is not good and that’s the reason he is pursuing the course. We want to end this stigma attached to the vocational education.”

Industry has been facing a consistent skills deficit as most graduates do not possess the skills needed to compete in the global economy. The framework will attempt to bring changes in the system and its orientation towards building employable students. Bhargav says it will also be a good option for school drop outs who left studies because of little interest in the usual courses.

The ministry is working in coordination with the National Council on Skill Development and Sector Skill Councils to develop the standards of the course and to design its curriculum according to the industry requirements.

Bhargav says, “We are trying to cover all the industries/sectors – organised as well as unorganised. We are covering industries like automobiles, media, IT, security and retailing.”

She adds that a partnership between the government and private players in the education sector will help the government in delivering quality services to the students together with the expertise of the private sector.

A joint certificate will be awarded to the students in this programme. This will be in coordination with the CBSE or the state board or the university. The certificate will have recognition from the academia and from the industry. The curriculum will be competency-based and will not be based on marks.

“If the course has 10 modules, and the child depending on his capability completes, say, only six modules. He can join the industry even with that qualification. And can complete the rest course later. He will not be judged on the basis of his marks,” says Bhargav.

The MHRD had started a small scheme on vocational courses at secondary level in 1988.  The framework will be an improvement of the scheme.

“Children do not have the mobility today. Polytechnics which provide the vocational courses are separate from the mainstream education. Through this framework ministry is trying to link everything and bring vertical and horizontal mobility,” Bhargav added.

Once the framework is implemented students will be able to study further and specialise in the same stream.

The ministry is also proposing to bring the change in the curriculum every three to four years according to the demand by the industry. Basic education for all children will be compulsory till class ten. So the course will be an option for students till that. But in 11th and 12th standards, students can either just study the course or can do it simultaneously with their regular studies, it is still under consultation.

Two rounds of consultation with the state education ministers is already done. The third round is expected in June. The ministry has prepared a rough draft paper which, Bhargav says, will be flexible enough to meet the requirements of different states. “Each school can select the sector according to its importance in its state. This will definitely help in improving the employability rate.”

The framework is expected to be ready for implementation by next academic year.

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