On vocation

 12 October 2011, Wednesday/ PIONEER

According to the latest qualification framework released by the HRD Minister, students could take up a vocational course and be better positioned after completing their senior secondary. Sangeeta Yadav brings you a report

With the aim to make vocational courses exciting and to increase the skilled workforce, the Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal launched his ambitious project — National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) which will allow students to seek employment after clearing class XII.

All India Council for Technical Education has identified eight skill areas for immediate attention and has involved the private sector for devising curriculum, testing, evaluation and certification. These eight areas are automobile, hospitality and tourism, security and energy, retail, media and entertainment, information technology, construction, and Banking, financial service and insurance (BFSI).

The HRD Ministry along with AICTE has acknowledged seven certification levels of knowledge and skill with first four levels equivalent to class IX to XII of school education.

These levels will be attained through Central Board for Secondary Education schools or schools affiliated to state boards.

This framework will allow students to get graduation level degree with easy entry and exit provisions enabling education with work.

In short, the students will have the freedom to choose either from a vocational or a conventional stream to reach graduation level. It has also been proposed that a student will have freedom to move from vocational stream to current formal higher education stream or vice versa at various stages.

“Many students drop out of school or are not interested in regular formal education. Some fail their senior secondary exams while others have to work to support their families. In order to cater these problems and ensure quality education, NVEQF will provide multi-level entry and exit system in which a student can seek employment after any level and flexibility to rejoin the education as and when feasible to upgrade qualification or skill competency,” explains S S Mantha, chairman of AICTE.

It is estimated that NVEQF will not only empower about 20 crore students, including dropouts, by 2011-12 but also help secure career opportunities to about 15 crore who may not even have access to higher education by 2020. “Our educational system gives degrees to enable students to seek employment. Unfortunately, these qualifications are not helping them to secure employment.

“The focus should be to provide more opportunities of skilled workforce that matches international standards of quality and productivity through integration of vocational education and training with the mainstream of education. With NVEQF, a student can get various levels of certification in vocational courses even as he or she pursues school and college level education,” Kapil Sibal emphasised.

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