Vocational Education in the Light of NEP 2020
Vocational Education First
India has shown a remarkable progress in the sector of education in the recent times but vocational training courses has still not regulated in many schools . This has resulted into a major gap between the supply and demand of skilled manpower in the region . The shortage of skilled workforce has led to increase in number of unemployment labour in the country .
Status of Vocational Education in India
The model of imparting vocational education in India operates at two levels: vocational education (theory) and training (practical).
National Institute of Open Schooling: Only 2% of the total population in between 15-29 years of age have received formal vocational training, and only 8% have received non-formal vocational training.
12th Five-Year Plan (2012–2017) estimates: Fewer than 5% of the Indian workforce between the age of 19-24 received formal vocational education.
According to the 75th round (2017-18) of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data: 24% students from rural areas are enrolled in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) or any other vocational training institutes. However, only 8.3% of urban students are enrolled in any vocational training institutes. Only 15.3% of the population is enrolled in formal vocational training institutes.
National Education Policy 2020:
With the roll-out of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, vocational education has garnered the required spotlight. The NEP 2020 is a comprehensive policy document that extensively discusses the revamping of vocational education. The policy focuses on bringing vocational education into mainstream education, as recommended by successive commissions on education over the years. Yet, the vocational education space, over the years, has witnessed a painfully slow and stagnant growth
The NEP 2020 addresses the challenges on both the demand and supply sides of vocational education and makes an effort to mitigate it.
Proper skills gap analysis and mapping of local opportunities.
To assign vocational courses relevant to a particular area will make vocational education more structured.
The NEP also emphasises the credit-based National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), which was introduced in 2013.
Proper assessment of prior learning of the enrolled students, which, in turn, will help in re-integrating the dropouts (from mainstream education) by aligning their practical experiences and appropriate level of the framework.
It seeks to align vocational occupations with international standards as prescribed by the International Labour Organisation.
It also recommends inclusion of industry, NGOs and civil society organisations in implementing the NSQF.
The integration of vocational education programmes into mainstream education in all educational institutions in a phased manner.
It would lead to emphasizing the dignity of labour and importance of various vocations involving Indian arts and artisanship.
Provisions for vocational education in NEP 2020:
Vision for balanced education – Socially meaningful and aspirational: No hard separations in order to eliminate harmful hierarchies among, and silos between different areas of learning.
Re-imagination of Vocational Education and sensitization for building competencies.
Inclusive, Interoperable, interdisciplinary and outcome-based education.
For 21-century capacity building: A holistic and multidisciplinary education will help develop well-rounded individuals that possess critical 21st-century capacities in fields across the subjects.
School internships for skill appreciation and craft-centric learning.
Professional development of teachers.
Integration of Vocational Education with Academic Learning and formation of NCIVE.
Job market orientation with multiple-entry and exit options.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and alignment with International Standards.
Technological development and student entrepreneurship.
The National Education Policy 2020 has given due importance to vocational education, to boost the employability skills and vocational skills of the learners at all levels. By 2025, at least 50% of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education, for which a clear action plan with targets and timelines will be developed. This is in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 4.4 and will help to realize the full potential of India ’s demographic dividend.
(Author is a Vocational Trainer at GHSS Soaf Kokernag and can be reached at [email protected] )