India is referred to as a 'young nation' with 28 million population of youth being added every year. Only about 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country, whereas about 12.8 million persons enter the labour market every year. About 90 per cent of employment opportunities require vocational skills, something that is not being imparted on a large scale in schools and colleges.
The major reforms proposed for bringing about necessary ‘flexibility' in the offering of vocational courses and development of ‘modular competency based curricula' in collaboration with industry to suit the needs of both target groups and the employers (industry) will be useful in reducing the shortage of skilled manpower.
In addition, the high drop out rate of students after Class X is significant and a cause of worry, as evident from the following statistics:
- No of secondary schools (Cl IX- X): 1,23,265
- No. of higher secondary schools (Cl XI -XII): 60,383
- No. of students in secondary schools: 2.89 cr
- No. of students in higher secondary schools: 1.66 cr
- Projected population of 14-16 age group: 4.84 cr
- Projected population of 16-18 age group: 4.86 cr
- System of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in India
The Technical and vocational education and training system (TVET) in India develops human resource through a three-tier system:
Graduate and post-graduate level specialists (e.g. IITs, NITs, engineering colleges) trained as engineers and technologists. Diploma-level graduates who are trained at Polytechnics as technicians and supervisors. Certificate-level for higher secondary students in the vocational stream and craft people trained in ITIs as well as through formal apprenticeships as semi-skilled and skilled workers.
There are more than 17 Ministries/Departments of Govt of India providing or funding formal/non-formal VET programmes. The total annual training capacity of VET programmes thus offered is estimated to be about 25 lakh. However, there is a lot of variation among the various programmes in terms of duration, target group, entry qualifications, testing and certification, curriculum, etc. which has resulted in problems related to recognition of qualifications, equivalence and vertical mobility.
National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF)
The process of development of a National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) is presently underway. The NVEQF would set common principles and guidelines for a nationally recognized qualification system, covering schools, vocational education institutes and institutes of higher education with qualifications ranging from secondary to doctorate level, leading to international recognition of national standards. Students would have the scope for vertical and horizontal mobility with multiple entry and exits.
This would be especially useful to promote the creative genius of every child including children with special needs. The corner stone of the NVEQF would be the close partnership and collaboration with the industry/ potential employers at all stages starting from identification of courses, content development, training and provision of resource persons, assessment, accreditation, certification and placement