In a recent event in Kolkata, President Pranab Mukherjee rightly said, “We often boast about India’s demographic dividend. But the question that arises is what we do with this if we cannot skill them if we cannot educate them and cannot enhance their employability.”
A country as demographic as India, with a majority of the young populace, skill, and knowledge automatically become the root driving force for it’s economic and social growth. The nation’s educational infrastructure stands well developed and seasoned. With free and compulsory education for children between the ages 5 to 14, The Constitution of India has developed a concrete 3-tier educational system comprising of Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary education.
These facts and figures, bring us to a very important question, What is Skill Oriented Education?
In today’s rapidly growing industry and job market, an overpowering need for a skilled workforce has emerged. But what an educated individual doesn’t understand is, who is a skilled worker? A skilled worker is any educated personal with special skills, training, and knowledge in a particular field.
On similar grounds, fetching immediate employment, skill oriented education is required to replace 25 percent of the current syllabi. Apart from generic higher education, skill development is associated more with the context of industry- oriented training.
Clearly divided under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and Ministry of Labour and Employment, Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary Education comes under the ambit of the former whereas skill development, i.e., industry- oriented education as well as vocational training comes under the umbrella of the latter.
Thus, one must see to it that the government has responsibly fulfilled its duty. But the question arises, Why is Skill-oriented education necessary?
According to statistics, Requirement of vocational skills for employment is about 90 percent, however, only a meager 20 percent of graduates receive employment. Evidently, more than 50 percent of the population is devoid of service due to lack of employable skills.
Statistics reveal that India’s skilled labor force comprises of only 2 percent of the entire workforce, which is much less as compared to other developing nations. Thus, Skill Development in India, comes with dual challenges- firstly, developing the skills and secondly, utilizing them.
Skill Development in India
With a set target of skilling 500 million people by 2020, India has sought the fact that starting from those entering the labor market, to those working in it, need to be imparted with skill- oriented education yielding fruitful results.
Setup on a PPP model, the National Skill Development Coordination Board (NSDC), formulates, evaluates and monitors policies and their outcomes. Being a coalition of the public sector and private entities, it has opened 6,906 vocational institutes along with National Institute for Open Schooling. Also, it plans to 1500 new ITI’s and 5000 more skill development centers. Along with this, for integrated skill development, a National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) will be formed.
Following the address of the former president, APJ Abdul Kalam, educational budget was increased by 106 percent. Not just that, the National Skill Policy, was devised in 2009, the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development was set up.
Also, the integration of skill development courses at secondary education is a must. However, the pedagogy has to practical. For instance, if a student opts for motor repair as a skill development course while in school, at a later stage, he can opt for a diploma or degree in automobile engineering.
Initiatives have also been taken to impart skill development at both private and public sector.
One needs to realize that initiatives should be oriented towards creating, as well as catering to the demand. The government of India has put in a whole- hearted effort to mature the educational infrastructure towards skill and industry oriented development. However, the implementation of these massive efforts is inadequate.
Thus, the introduction of skill training at a young age, shifting students from bookish knowledge and inclining them towards employable skills. Hence, making them capable of applying their theory knowledge into real life scenarios.
To end with, efficient skill development is strongly valuable across various sections of the market and industry. Creating a rich human resource, companies such as EduRade and Educomp have contributed in a humungous manner and wish to devise a modular structure for imparting skill development is an effective approach for progress in this direction.