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> RECOMMENDATIONS - VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
  Vocational Education
 

1st December, 2006

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) considers Vocational Education and Training (VET) as an important element of the nation's education initiative. In order for VET to play its part effectively in the changing national context and for India to enjoy the fruits of the demographic dividend, there is an urgent need to redefine the critical elements of imparting vocational education to make them flexible, contemporary, relevant, inclusive and creative. The Government is well aware of the important role of VET and has already taken a number of important initiatives. T hrough consultations with industry groups, academics, civil society and practitioners, NKC has deliberated ways and means to strengthen these initiatives and recommends the following long and short term strategies.

1. Place Vocational Education entirely under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD): In view of the role of VET in human resource development and importance of its linkages with other streams of education, placing all aspects of VET under MHRD may be considered by the Government. Currently, VET falls under the purview of MHRD as well as the Ministry of Labour, which leads to fragmented management of the VET framework. MHRD may consider setting up a National Institute of Vocational Education Planning and Development to formulate strategy, advise the Government, and undertake research and development in areas pertaining to technology and workforce development. The functions and organizational structure of such an institute are at Annexure 1.

These realities cannot be changed overnight. But the National Knowledge Commission believes that the time has come for us to teach our people, ordinary people, English as a language in schools. And we are convinced that action in this sphere, starting now, would help us build an inclusive society and transform India into a knowledge society. In just twelve years, it would provide our school leavers with far more equal access to higher education and, three to five years thereafter, much more equal access to employment opportunities.

2. Increase the flexibility of VET within the mainstream education system through the following steps:
i. Aspects of general education (such as numeracy skills, etc.) should be retained in VET as far as possible, to enable students to return to mainstream education at a later stage.
ii. Courses in training institutes and polytechnics should have distinct tracks for students of different educational attainments.
iii. Entry requirements for certain trades should reflect the requirement of the trade (as appropriate, for instance the entry requirement of Class X could be relaxed to Class VIII in some cases). Students should be permitted multiple entry and exit options in the vocational education stream.
iv. Links should be established between the vocational education stream and school education as well as higher education.
v. Courses devoted to certain skills training at the primary and secondary level should be introduced in all schools.
vi. Vocational training should be made available in various literacy and adult education schemes.
vii. Schemes for lifelong skill up-gradation, through short training programmes, should be introduced.
viii. There should be a provision for generating a cadre of multi-skilled persons

 
 
 

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