New Delhi: Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Sanjay Kumar, pointed out that India needs to catch up with other countries in terms of skilling the workforce through formal vocational training during the student years. NEP 2020 has identified such issues and has suggested remedial measures, he added.
Shri Kumar pointed out that as per NEP, 2020 Vocational Education needs to be integrated into all schools and higher education institutions in a phased manner over the next decade. Trades and Courses shall be chosen based on skills gap analysis and mapping of local opportunities to make it demand driven. Concerted efforts from all stakeholders will be required to de-stigmatizeVocational Education and make it aspirational.
The National Credit Framework, currently under finalization by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will also eliminate traditional hierarchies and silos between different areas of learning. It will help in removing complex separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. By providing credits for academic, extra-curricular and experiential learning, NCrF will help dropouts from the formal education system to get reintegrated by aligning their practical experience with the appropriate Framework level.
The consultations were also addressed by Dhuwarakha Sriram Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships and Mr. Terry Durian, Chief of Education, UNICEF. Various ideas related to reimagining, reinventing vocational education modules etc. were discussed at length. Importance of life skills – both vertical and horizontal, aspirational disconnect and information asymmetry in uptake of vocational education school,giving a gender perspective to vocational education, etc were also focus of these discussions.
In the light of newly launched National Education Policy, 2020 the aim should be to empower students with skills such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, robotic process automation, cybersecurity, etc. so that vocational graduates could compete in the global economy. The need to establish virtual labs, so that all students have equal access to high-quality practical and hands-on experience, was also stressed upon.
The Conference also benefitted from the feedback from students who have taken vocational courses like Multi-Skilling course and Information Technology course.