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What is Reimagining Vocational Education ?-GK PDF

What is Reimagining Vocational Education ?-GK PDF

Vocational education refers to deliberate interventions to bring about learning that would make students productive in designated areas of economic activity. Although ‘work productivity’ is not the only aim and concern of vocational education, it is its distinctive objective, and this sets it apart from other forms of education and training. India needs to embrace the full breadth and depth of the definition of vocational education, given the scale of its ambitions with regard to realising its demographic dividend.


Vocational education has a very large scope covering the four broad sectors of the economy, namely, agriculture, manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and services. India also has a rich tradition of arts and crafts and other indigenous knowledge that must also be included under the umbrella of vocational education. As many as 20 ministries of State and Central governments, as well as industry and businesses in the private sector, are engaged in vocational education and training youth for employment.

The 12th Five-Year Plan (2012–2017) estimated that only a very small percentage of the Indian workforce in the age group of 19–24 (less than 5%) received formal vocational education; this may be compared to other countries such as the USA where the number is 52%, Germany 75%, and South Korea as high as 96%. These numbers only underline the urgency of the need to hasten the spread of vocational education in India.

Some of the reasons for this include the fact that vocational education has in the past focused largely on dropouts (Grade 8 and upwards) and on Grades 11–12. However, students passing out from Grades 11–12 with vocational subjects did not have well-defined pathways to continue with their chosen vocations in higher education. The admission criteria for general higher education were also not designed to provide openings to students who had vocational education qualifications, leaving them at a disadvantage relative to their compatriots from mainstream education. This led to a complete lack of vertical mobility for students from the vocational education stream, an issue that has only been addressed recently through the announcement of the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) in 2013.

The lack of planning and the poor delivery of vocational education in the past has con-tributed to the creation of a social status hierarchy in which vocational education is perceived to be inferior to mainstream education, meant largely for students who are unable to cope with the latter. This is a perception that persists even today, and affects the choices students make. It is a serious concern that can only be dealt with by a complete re-imagination of how vocational education is offered to students in the future. This policy aims to overcome the social status hierarchy associated with vocational education through requiring that ALL educational institutions -schools, colleges and universities -integrate vocational education programmes into mainstream education in a phased manner, beginning with vocational exposure at early ages, quality vocational education through secondary school and smoothly into higher education. Integrating vocational education in this way will ensure that every child learns at least one vocation and is exposed to several more, emphasising the dignity and importance of labour and exciting students about various vocations including those involving local arts and artisanship.

This Policy sets a goal of achieving skill development among at least 50% of learners through the school and higher education system by 2025, in order to realise the full potential of India’s demographic dividend.

Vocational education will be integrated into all educational institutions in a phased manner over the next decade. Focus areas will be chosen based on skills gap analysis and mapping of local opportunities, and technical and vocational education will become part of the larger vision of liberal education. The National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE) will oversee this effort. This transition will be facilitated through collaboration between educational institutions and technical institutions and industry, with the help of a separate ‘Vocational Education Inclusion Fund’ for integration.

It is imperative that vocational education is smoothly integrated into colleges and univer-sities, so that the acceptance of vocational education grows rapidly and achieves the targets set in this policy. Vocational education at the undergraduate level will be scaled up to a capacity of 50% of enrolment by 2030-35. Higher education institutions will offer vocational education either on their own or in partnership with industry. The B.Voc. degrees introduced in 2013 will continue to exist, but vocational courses will also be available to students enrolled in all other Bachelor’s degree programmes, including the 4-year Liberal Education programmes. HEIs will also be allowed to conduct short-term certificate courses in various skills including soft skills. ‘Lok Vidya,’ knowledge developed in India, will be made accessible to students through integration into vocational education courses.

Individual institutions that are early adopters must innovate to find models and practices that work and then share these with other institutions through mechanisms set up by NCIVE, so as to help extend the reach of vocational education. Models of offering vocational education, and apprenticeships, will also be experimented with by higher education institutions. Incubation centres will be set up in higher education institutes in partnership with industries.

The National Skills Qualifications Framework will be detailed further for each discipline / vocation / profession. Further, Indian standards will be aligned with the International Standard Classification of Occupations maintained by the International Labour Organisation. This Frame-work will provide the basis for Recognition of Prior Learning. Through this, dropouts from the formal system will be reintegrated by aligning their practical experience with the relevant level on the Framework. The Framework will also facilitate mobility across general and vocational education.

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