In 1964, Kothari Commission concluded that there are many jobs which don’t require university degree; hence a system should be implemented within school ecosystem that students are ready for employment in the relevant sectors.
Based on this recommendation, vocational education in schools was introduced to bring a paradigm shift in Indian school education system to meet the industry revolution employment demand.
CBSE made an attempt to introduce Vocational Courses in the schools that unfortunately didn’t pick up due to various reason cited by respected schools, making this attempt a good failure whereas it could have really changed the landscape of Indian education system that more or less runs on rote learning and not delivering the right value in education.
Industry says out of 10 major skills required to let them employ any graduate, top 5 are Critical Thinking, Logical Reasoning, Managing People, Innovativeness and Communication Skills But are we really preparing our young generation for this? Or are we creating kids who don’t know the next step or if they are put aside in a line to find their own way, they are confused and lost.
The ambitious scheme initiated by Kothari Commission, was supposed to lure one million, or 50 per cent of the students seeking admission to colleges, into job-oriented courses. Last year only 72,000 or 2.7 per cent of the total of two million high school students enrolled in job-oriented courses - a far cry from the ambitious target of 50 per cent. And while most of the students in these courses were learning, they were certainly not earning. In most states hardly one out of four students who passed such courses got jobs. The rest remained either unemployed or went back to colleges thereby defeating the very purpose of vocational courses. In the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Professor Ashoka Chandra, technical educational adviser, admitted: "What we are running today is an apology for a vocational education programme."
Way back in 2000, When I was in class Xth, I took Science because there was not a single engineer in our family. Keeping this in mind, I took Science in XI, XIIth and completed it successfully followed by admission in one of the engineering colleges in Faridabad. To cut a long story short, I got selected in a top multinational company but left that in a week because at the time of training, I realized this is not me, sitting on the chair for 15 hours and doing coding; however being selected in a top company was a testimony that I can do coding, but not about my interest and passion. The interest and passion got revealed when I did part time job in marketing near my house during my final semester in engineering. I realized that I love travelling; interacting with people, possess good negotiation and convincing skills and good at number crunching for revenue calculation etc. So I decided to pursue my career in marketing, and now I am a software engineer by degree and marketer by choice and post 2 -3 years experience, I completed my MBA too to upskill and grow in my career.
Lesson: It is critical that we should have a clear understanding of what we are good at through numerous attempts in the school itself thereby making us fully prepared to do what we intend to in our college life, so that focus is on employability, entrepreneurship and developing that aspect.
Being associated with school students fraternity for almost 15 years, I give my example very often to make them realize the importance of choosing right career that suits your over all personality. Now the question is what is the right time to implement this – Is it IX onwards? If you ask me..I would say right from the VI Standard. Basics are developed by this time and students have a good clarity on their interest in Science, Maths, Geography etc. and have a sense to understand these vocational courses content step by step. First 2 years should be given to exposure to their interest defined by some standard psychometric profiling and next 2 years, they should continue to learn/unlearn/relearn on these aspects, starting from class 8th, they should have a dedicated curricular structure to follow and way ahead on it accordingly to achieve the desire output.
Vocational Courses offered by CBSE
The 40 vocational courses being offered by the CBSE are quite varied and diverse and can be broadly classified into the following categories:
- Office Secretaryship, Banking, Computer Application, Marketing & Salesmanship, Retail, Financial Market
- Electrical, Computers, Automobile, Civil, Geo Spatial, Foundry etc
- Health and Para medical
- MLT, Optometry, Nursing, X-Ray Technician, Heath & Beauty Studies etc
- Home science
- Fashion, Textile, Music Technical Production,
- Horticulture, Dairying Science, Poultry Farming, Food Production, Mass comm. etc
- Hospitality & tourism
- Food Production, Beverage Services, Front Office, Bakery etc
- Transportation & Logistics, Life Insurance, Library etc
With such vast options available, are school using them to its advantage to nurture a better youth available for college? to nurture further to make them employable? Ideology is not to blame the school system but to find and create an ecosystem where all this is supported. To an extent, these courses are been taught in premium schools but will that resolve our purpose related to remaining large chunk of students.
Students have a huge and diverse range of different skills and learning styles. Not everyone is good at math, biology, history and other traditional subjects that characterize college-level work. Not everyone is fascinated by Greek mythology, or enamored with Victorian literature, or enraptured by classical music. Some students are mechanical; others are artistic. Some focus best in a lecture hall or classroom; still others learn best by doing, and would thrive in the studio, workshop or shop floor.
End note is a submission to government and schools to implement this vocational course concept to its depth whereby student are exposed starting from the Class 6th on their interest, passion and can work on a better career ahead. This further will surely resolve the problem of universities whereby rote learner joins the classes having industry interaction, CEO meetings, seminars, practical exposure in their degree course but surely is lacking on life skills and most important- the path of their life…WHERE TO GO AHEAD because personality and passion are yet to be explored…
Think, Ponder, Introspect…..