The stretch of this widespread pandemic has no doubt been troublesome, but it has not stopped the heralding of new ideas. Mr Mukul Kumar Sati, the Additional State Project Director (ASPD) for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, announced that about 250 vocational courses would be introduced in over 200 government schools between classes 9 – 12 in the next academic year. The vocational courses or the non-academic courses are aimed to bring about professional training in the particular choice of interest of vocation.
Vocational education has been traditionally non-academic and is specifically related to a course, trade or vocation. It helps to score jobs based on manual and physical activities.
Until the very end of the previous century, the jobs of an automobile mechanic or welder were what was considered as the prime result of vocational education, and those were exactly the vocations that mattered. Hence, there has been an age-old stigma that vocational education was meant for the lower social class.
In truth, vocational education gives the student specialisation in a particular field. It gives them a proper experience which further helps them in getting a job more easily than they would have before. It renders the youth more employable. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), only 25% of Indian professionals are considered to be employable by the organised sector. It does lay down the fact that textual learning is not for everyone, and a drastic improvement in the lines of vocational education is needed.
Mr Sati said that different courses were being offered to cater to the needs of every student. The requirements of the students varied from school to school and district to district. The girls’ schools have put forward their interests in the courses of beauty and wellness. Similarly, the boys of Udham Singh Nagar district, which is a vast land of fertile fields, have stressed upon the availability of a course for agriculture. The other courses include plumbing, tourism, information technology, basics of automobile engineering, electronics, hardware, and retail. He also said that there would be tenders to call on professionals who can contribute to the learning of the courses.
Vocational education is also a blessing to the students from the economically weaker sections of society. Students drop out of high school to fund their families doing menial works. They prefer doing daily wage jobs as it provides assurance and money to their families. The additional skills from the vocational education would secure them jobs with good pay.
Uttarakhand is not unfamiliar with this. Last year, in August, in an experimental project, the State started technical and non-technical courses across six schools to thoroughly examine the skill development of the students. In a statement made by Seema Jaunsari, Director of Academic, Research, and Training, she said that around 3-4 courses were taught in those six schools and appropriate training was given which turned out to be a success.
Vocational education can be a solution to the unemployment of the youth in India. An effortless yet effective way towards eradicating poverty. And a step towards a better India.