4th CII Edu Summit Aligning Higher Education with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)


4th CII Edu Summit Aligning Higher Education with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)

UT’s youth pretty positive about Vocational education - Advisor
Industry – Academia partnership critical to a skilled India – S S Prasad

NSQF key to Integrate Skills & Education – Vijay Thadani, CEO NIIT
Industry should set up sectoral Standards - Dilip Chenoy
Competence definition must to meet industry’s skill demands - J P Rai, DG, NSDA

“Why there is huge mismatch between industry’s requirements and skills produced by our Institutes is a huge question that needs to be answered” said Mr K K Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh Administration. He was addressing the 4th CII Edu Summit, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) & Govt of Haryana at CII NR Headquarters in Sector 31 A, Chandigarh on 1st September, 2014.

Calling the CII to partner aggressively with the governments and skill development agencies, the Advisor further emphasised that “Since industry is the best judge as to what kind of skills they require the most from time to time, hence industry should collaborate and participate with vocational and educational institutes, universities, government agencies and skilling centres to develop curricula, suggest and decide on courses to be promoted. We are ready to do as per your feedback”.

“As far as Chandigarh is concerned, we have got a very good response for our vocational and soft skills programmes included from Class IX onwards and now we are trying to further expand it. We have also started a Smart school to cater to southern sectors and especially children from colonies from under privileged sections. We have also launched a campaign called Rashtriya Uchhattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) with VC of PU as the Chairman.

Sharing details of another key initiative for Disabled, the Advisor mentioned that “The differently abled children are thrilled to learn preparation of bakery items like bread / cakes, biscuits etc at a programme launched at the Hotel Management Institute, Chandigarh.

“Adoption of innovative and latest techniques and PPP mode with special thrust to Research & Development in Higher Education sector would be the game changer for India in the current global scenario and take India to its much desired position”, highlighted Mr S S Prasad Additional Chief Secretary - Higher Education, Govt of Haryana.

Calling for active industry participation, Mr Prasad further emphasised that “Innovative funding and financial models under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode is the need of the hour to meet the expected requirement of about US$ 84 billion of investment to educate about 33.4 million students expected to enter higher and vocational education space by 2016. The bridging of ITIs and colleges is also as much critical”.

“We are very serious about vocational training and feel that banking, insurance, retail and IT are the sectors of tomorrow. The Haryana government is very committed to spread education in far-flung areas of the state, benefiting thousands of students. The testimony to this fact is that, today we have more than 40 Universities in Haryana as compared to just 9 in 2007, 1200 institutes of higher education, 200 engineering colleges and 472 Bed colleges” he elaborated.

A CII – Ernst & Young Knowledge Paper on Aligning Higher Education with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) was also be released at the Summit

Calling Skilled youth, the oil of the new Century, Mr Vijay K Thadani, CII Edu Summit & Chairman & CEO, NIIT Ltd, said, “In the next few years, India will be home to world’s largest workforce but this workforce can be a boon only if it is educated, skilled and motivated. In the present scenario, integration of Skills and education is the biggest hurdle in Indian Education System and to bridge the gap between them, National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) has a major role to play.”

Appreciating Central Government’s move of establishing Ministry of Skills, he said that “The Central government has taken a very important move by establishing the Ministry of Skills, but multiple agencies are needed to impart its benefits to the actual needy. Also, there is a great need to bring about equivalence between Degree and Skills. The Social status for a skilled person needs to be redefined.”

“We need to create new models of Skill education & Training which could help in generating employment in accordance with the need of society. Like European nations, we need to develop model of Local jobs-Local Curriculum,” he added.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation, said that “We need to have sectoral standard certifications, so that every program or training results in credit i.e certificates. Industry itself should set standards for the kind of efficiency and specialization it needs. Hence grades can be allotted to students based on their performance. Also, there is a dire need to align and synchronize various state boards of education so as to have one standard model for higher education across nation.”

“NSQF will play a significant role in the achievement of the national strategic skill objectives by acting as an interface between Industry and Academia. In order to achieve this, the key area that needs to be addressed would be mobility – lateral and vertical. For this a number of areas will need to be thought through – Regulatory aspects, flexibility in entry and exit points, Credits, Recognition of Prior learning and certification”, he added.

“The industry which is the major consumer of skilled workforce should give their thorough inputs through the recently identified 6 Sector Skill Councils to conduct studies in the areas of Agriculture,CapitalGoods, Construction, Domestic workers, Gems and Jewellery and Healthcare, to start with. Further the academicians, youth and universities should also work closely with the industry to remove this major stumbling block of unclear definition of competence”, he added.

“Defining the level of competence expected from various higher education degrees as well as that of vocational training is the only way to bridge the huge unapparent disconnect between the skill requirements of the industry and those delivered by our institutes”, highlighted Mr J P Rai, Director General, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), an autonomous body formed to coordinate and harmonize the skill development efforts of the Government and the private sector to achieve the skilling targets of the 12th Plan.

NSDA is especially anchoring the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) which acts as an industry - academia interface and aims to set up professional certifying bodies to certify learning outcomes which the learner must possess regardless of whether they were acquired through formal, non-formal or informal learning.

“The various parameters of level of competence attributed with different degrees and vocational education that call for clear definition could be the mandatory professional knowledge, minimum physical skills set, personal soft skills like IT etc and the element of supervision / responsibility related to that particular degree. In short, Competence means the proven ability to use acquired knowledge, skills and personal and social abilities to do a job well. NSQF aims to identify and certify such competence irrespective of any degree or duration. One can even acquire desired competence by experience or accompanying any one on the field; without even undergoing 15 years of education”, he further emphasised.

On retooling and aligning skills development with higher education, he suggested that “A mass mindset change is required at all levels in India. The vocational jobs are looked down upon in India. Even in a survey conducted in 7 European countries, more than 50 % of the students undergoing higher education degrees indicated that they did not pursue vocational courses just because of the prestige issues, low social status attributed to such jobs and an unorganised vocational sector. Same applies to India as well, and these issues need to be sorted out immediately to meet the industry’s demand of 12.8 million new jobs every year”.

Ms Muna Salih Meky, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank, said, “Skill development is now a global issue and collaborative efforts of international skill development councils will help in shaping skills of youth. What we need at the moment is cross-country partnerships for imparting skills education. Skill Development Exchange Programs can be a game changer here.”

Stressing upon the need of Apprenticeship, Mr Leighton Ernsberger, Assistant Director Skills, British Council, shared, “Alike European countries, Apprenticeship (System of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study (classroom work and reading), should be introduced as a part of Indian education Curriculum. Also, there should be Third Party assessment to see how the training bodies are working.”

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