Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 66591

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Status of Vocational Education and Training in India: Policies and Practices
Abstract:
The development of critical skills and competencies becomes imperative for young people to cope with the unpredicted challenges of the time and prepare for work and life. Recognizing that education has a critical role in reaching sustainability goals as emphasized by 2030 agenda for sustainability development, educating youth in global competence, meta-cognitive competencies, and skills from the initial stages of formal education are vital. Further, educating for global competence would help in developing work readiness and boost employability. Vocational education and training in India as envisaged in various policy documents remain marginalized in practice as compared to general education. The country is still far away from the national policy goal of tracking 25% of the secondary students at grade eleven and twelve under the vocational stream. In recent years, the importance of skill development has been recognized in the present context of globalization and change in the demographic structure of the Indian population. As a result, it has become a national policy priority and taken up with renewed focus by the government, which has set the target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. This paper provides an overview of the policies, practices, and current status of vocational education and training in India supported by statistics from the National Sample Survey, the official statistics of India. The national policy documents and annual reports of the organizations actively involved in vocational education and training have also been examined to capture relevant data and information. It has also highlighted major initiatives taken by the government to promote skill development. The data indicates that in the age group 15-59 years, only 2.2 percent reported having received formal vocational training, and 8.6 percent have received non-formal vocational training, whereas 88.3 percent did not receive any vocational training. At present, the coverage of vocational education is abysmal as less than 5 percent of the students are covered by the vocational education programme. Besides, launching various schemes to address the mismatch of skills supply and demand, the government through its National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 proposes to bring about inclusivity by bridging the gender, social and sectoral divide, ensuring that the skilling needs of socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups are appropriately addressed. It is fundamental that the curriculum is aligned with the demands of the labor market, incorporating more of the entrepreneur skills. Creating nonfarm employment opportunities for educated youth will be a challenge for the country in the near future. Hence, there is a need to formulate specific skill development programs for this sector and also programs for upgrading their skills to enhance their employability. There is a need to promote female participation in work and in non-traditional courses. Moreover, rigorous research and development of a robust information base for skills are required to inform policy decisions on vocational education and training.