Vocational Education & Training, Though the world lauds India as an emerging global economic superpower, it is no secret that there’s an alarming degree of inequality and youth unemployment, putting the country in poor light in the global perspective.
In many instances, there is a lack of education and an increase in the rate of school drop-outs, which might be cited as an issue. On the other side of the coin, there’s a huge population of educated youth who remain jobless as well.
Education is not just rote learning of facts and figures but implies practical knowledge and skills as well. Sadly, a lot of college and university pass-outs lack appropriate skills to make a mark in careers of their choice.
Under these circumstances, Vocational Education & Training (VET) provides a feasible answer to many a malady related to unemployment.
VET is advantageous in the following aspects:
- Elimination of stark poverty and hunger
- Empowerment of marginalized sectors of the society
- Women empowerment
- Imparts lifelong learning
- Promotes environmentally sustainable development
- Promotes craftsmanship and artistry, thereby passing down ancestral knowledge to the younger generations
- Untapped skills found exclusively in rural areas of the country could be brought to light, thereby contributing to economic and social growth of rural India.
- Develop skilled workforce that is relevant to current and emerging market needs.
The UNESCO has put forward a strategy for promoting technical and vocational education for women and girls in 2016. As quoted by UNESCO, the 3 pillars of priority areas include:
- Fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship
- Promoting equity and gender equality
- Facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies.
With a huge population of girls in India being deprived of formal education, implementing the UNESCO strategy shall help overcome many woes.
History shows India have understood the relevance of vocational education as early as the ’50s. The Indian government passed the Companies Act in 1956. Under the same, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a non-profit company was registered. Some of the objectives of NSDC include identifying skill development needs, developing excellent standards and certifications, training of trainers, and proper delivery of training.
In our country, vocational training has been primarily coordinated by the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET) under the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE); while technical training falls under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
In 1977, the women’s vocational training programme at the Ministry of Labour & Employment (under the Directorate General of Employment and Training) was designed and launched. It was aimed at promoting women employment in industry as semi-skilled/skilled & highly skilled workers. Skill training facilities were given under Craftsmen Training Scheme and Craft Instructors Training Scheme. Institutes, exclusively for training women, have been set up.
Therefore, there is no dearth of programmes and initiatives to promote vocational education and training in India. But the results are few and far between.
If local and national government agencies could ensure implementing these programmes in full swing and bring on maximum participation of youth, girls and women in these areas, it is only a matter of time before India becomes one of the top countries in the world to have achieved UNESCO’s objectives to its full advantage.