Skill Development In India Essays

Multi Skill Programme- Skill India

The Government has announced the start of a national Multi-Skill programme called Skill India. Announcing this during his maiden Budget Speech in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that this programme would ability the youth with a prominence on employability and entrepreneur skills. It will also present education and support for welders, carpenters, cobblers, masons, blacksmiths and weavers etc. The meeting of various schemes to achieve this objective is also proposed. After Digital India and Make in India, the NaMo Government is to begin another programme. This new programme called ‘Skill India’ is invented to be a multi-skill programme. It will be launched in March 2015. Like all other programmes, ‘Skill India’ too is a nightmare project of Narendra Modi and the effort to launch this programme has already been initiated.

Objectives of ‘Skill India’

The main objective is to create opportunities and scope for the growth of the talents of the Indian youth and to build up more of those sectors which have already been put under skill development for the last so many years and also to recognize new sectors for skill development. The new programme seeks to provide guidance and skill development to 500 million youth of our country by 2020, covering each and every village. Various schemes are also planned to attain this goal.

FEATURES OF ‘SKILL INDIA ‘

  • The emphasis is to skill the youths in such a way so that they get employment and also get better entrepreneurship.
  • To Provides training, support and supervision for all occupations that were of traditional type like carpenters, cobblers, welders, blacksmiths, masons, nurses, tailors, weavers etc.
  • The more prominence will be given on new areas like real estate, construction, transportation, textile, gem industry, jewellery designing, banking, tourism and various other sectors, where skill development is inadequate or nil.
  • The training programmes would be on the lines of international level so that the youths of our country can not only meet the domestic demands but also of other countries like the US, Japan, China, Germany, Russia and those in the West Asia.
  • Another remarkable feature of the ‘Skill India’ programme would be to create a hallmark called ‘Rural India Skill’, so as to standardize and confirm the training process.
  • The programmes would be initiated for definite age groups which can be like language and communication skills, life and positive thinking skills, personality development skills, management skills, behavioral skills, including job and employability skills.
  • The course methodology of ‘Skill India’ would be innovative, which would include games, group discussions, brainstorming sessions, practical experiences, case studies etc.

How is it diverse from the earlier skill development policies?

The Government of India has always considered skill development as a national priority. It is just that since the ministry is new, the approach taken for skill development is also new. Earlier, the emphasis was on traditional jobs. But this time, all kinds of jobs will be given equal importance. The liability was divided among various ministries and these are being clubbed together. The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship will be the principal ministry which is going to manage with other ministries and organizations.

According to NaMo the Skill India won’t be just a programme but a movement. The youth who are jobless, college and school dropouts, along with the educated ones, from rural and urban areas, all will be given value addition. The Certificates will be issue to those who complete a particular skill or programme and this certificate has to be recognized by all public and private agencies and entities, including overseas organizations. Skill India is a programme for the entire nation.

Advantages of Skill India

The idea is to raise confidence, improve productivity and give direction through proper skill development. Skill development will enable the youths to get blue-collar jobs. Development of skills at a young age, right at the school level, is very essential to channelise them for proper job opportunities. There should be a balanced growth expansion in all the sectors and all jobs should be given equal importance. Every job aspirant would be given training in soft skills to lead a proper and decent life. Skill development would reach the rural and remote areas also. Corporate educational institutions, non-government organizations, Government, academic institutions, and society would help in the development of skills of the youths so that better results are achieved in the shortest time possible.

 

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In the changing world scenario with regard to industry and the job market, there is now an overpowering need for skilled workers. However, the definition of 'skill' in India, and the world in general, has also changed over recent years.  India is relatively young as a nation with around 28

In the changing world scenario with regard to industry and the job market, there is now an overpowering need for skilled workers. However, the definition of 'skill' in India, and the world in general, has also changed over recent years.  

India is relatively young as a nation with around 28 million youth population being added every year. More than 50 per cent of its population is below the age of 25 and more than 65 per cent are aged below 35. In 2020, the average age of an Indian will be expectedly 29 years, while it will be 37 for China and 48 for Japan.

As President Pranab Mukherjee said in a recently organised CII event in Kolkata, "We often boast about India's demographic dividend. But the question that arises is what we do with this if we cannot skill them, if we cannot educate them and cannot enhance their employability."

India Today spoke to three experts on the issues of skill development in Indian schools today and how to overcome them:

  • Nayana Mallapurkar, Program Head, TISS School of Vocational Education
  • Dr Lakshmi Mohan, Campus Head, ITM Business School
  • Siddarth Bharwani, Vice President, Jetking Infotrain Limited


Why is it important to get employable skills?

Nayana Mallapurkar: About 90 per cent of employment opportunities require vocational skills. Only 20 per cent of our graduates get employed. The rest are unable to get suitable employment due to the lack of employable skills.

In the present context of globalisation, the demand for skilled and multi skilled workers has increased. Therefore in the context of developing countries, such as India, there is a critical need for quality skill development and training.


Prominent employable skills at present:

Nayana Mallapurkar: In general, apart from the core subject expertise, some of the prominent employable skills that employers seek are:

  • communication skills (verbal and written)
  • commercial awareness
  • attitude towards work
  • lifelong learning
  • self-management
  • teamwork
  • problem solving
  • initiative
  • self-motivation
  • adaptability
  • stress management
  • creativity
  • interpersonal sensitivity
  • technology/it skills
(Read: Only 7 per cent engineering graduates employable: What's wrong with India's engineers?)

Skill development in schools


Various ways to carry out skill development at school level:

Dr Lakshmi Mohan:

  • At school level, there must be options available for skill development courses and they must be provided in the secondary stage of schooling
  • Many more courses in fields such as Hospitality and Tourism, Handicraft, Healthcare, Textiles, Photography, IT, Retail, Banking, Insurance can be added that would interest students to learn from
  • For instance if a student opts for healthcare , he could learn to be a blood-collection expert and later can add further courses to become full-fledged pathology technician or nurse
  • The pedagogy has to be practical; learning can be enhanced through field visits, e-learning, industry driven projects, digital or video inputs and so on

At which age should skilling ideally begin for students?

Dr Lakshmi Mohan:

  • To make India the skill capital of the world, the school curricula will have to go through a dynamic change
  • Skill development should ideally begin at the age of 13 years, from the eighth standard, while in school
  • Integration of skill development and education is essential for skilling to take wings. Skill development will remain a dream if carried out in isolation through centers alone. It has to be imparted in schools alongside academics
  • If a student opts for motor repair as a skill development course while in school, at a later stage, he can opt for a diploma or degree in automobile engineering

(Read: The change in media industry: All about evolving skill requirements and innovative teaching methods)



Importance of skill training young students even before they graduate high school:

Nayana Mallapurkar:

  • Considering the Indian population, there is an acute need for training the young workforce, just to shape them in a better way
  • In today's scenario there are ample opportunities that one can choose from and excel in. However, the Indian thought process is more clued on to the typical traditional academic streams and careers in the field of engineering, medicine, accounts, MBA etc  
  • There have been numerous instances where a student is pushed in to a particular field due to parental/peer pressure only to realise at a later stage in life about his/her passion or calling in life and to start all over again from scratch 
  • Introduction to skill training at a young age will by all means give the student an opportunity to explore various options and accordingly, narrow down on a vocation of his/her liking
  • There are also those set of students who are not able to cope with main stream education. This could be because of economic reasons or academic in-capabilities. So what are the options available to them, such that they lead a dignified life without being exploited or being vulnerable? Introducing skill training at a young age will go a long way in directing these students to opportunities that will have a larger impact on the general fabric of the workforce in this country
  • Apart for these, introducing students to some of the employable skills mentioned above will also help them prepare and adapt to real work situations without much effort.  It will ease the transition phase from being a student to being a professional


Evolution of skill training in schools according to the learner's age:

Nayana Mallapurkar: The employable skills apart from the core skills as mentioned above should be introduced to school students from an early age of 6-7 years onwards in an incremental manner.

  • Primary school (classes 1 to 5) (age 6 to 11): Communication skills, attitude, adaptability and IT skills
  • Middle school (classes 6 to 8) (age 11 to 14): Above skills plus self-management, teamwork, creativity
  • Secondary education (classes 9 to 10) (age 14 to 15): Above skills plus stress management, self-motivation
  • Upper secondary (classes 11 to 12) (age 16 to 17): Above skills plus initiative, interpersonal sensitivity
  • Higher education (graduation or professional programmes): Above skills plus commercial awareness, problem solving, lifelong learning


Factors in the Indian education system that prevent skill development of students:

Nayana Mallapurkar:

  • In my view, the Indian education system puts maximum emphasis on bookish knowledge. Hence, when an individual graduates, he/she struggles to apply this knowledge in the real life scenario
  • From primary to upper secondary, the subjects covered in the school curricula are the languages (mother tongue/regional/foreign), mathematics, science and technology, social science, art education, physical training etc. It will be observed that the curricula do not cover components of employable skills nor is there any option to introduce students to different vocations
  • The Indian education system does not consider the component of skilling in its curriculum. The option of vocation education is limited to certain boards, which do not cater to the larger target audience. In India there are different boards that follow different systems/curriculum


Siddarth Bharwani:

  • The Indian education system adopts a top-down approach where major initiatives and strategies get rolled out at 35000 ft in university board rooms and council. However, the approach needs to be bottom up where the students and faculty at the last mile should be the focus
  • The two major reasons of skill shortage are faculty and facility. The faculty's role needs to change; it needs to flip around in a way that the teacher facilitates the overall learning of students rather than only distributing notes
  • The facility or infrastructure of a lot of schools needs to be upgraded as per 21st century requirements, which will in turn encourage 21st century skills that students can adapt
  • According to the recent City and Guilds Group's Skills Confidence report, about 95 per cent of India's labour force lack formal vocational skills. While the education system and the skill development domain has its own set of challenges and limitations, there is a need to transform the way we skill our youth as many-a-time, students have been found to be unemployable due to lack of practical knowledge
Fundamentally, there is more work to do to ensure we have a skilled youth force 10 years from now.

Skill development in international countries:

Nayana Mallapurkar:

  • In most developed international countries, students are introduced to formal skill development at age 16 onwards i.e. at upper secondary level onwards
  • The education systems in these countries also provide for opportunities to students to move laterally and vertically to achieve their academic aspirations in main stream education
  • Germany, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Japan and Sri Lanka and the Scandinavian Countries have a comparatively well-established vocational track


Vocational education as a solution for inadequate skill development


Skill development is not yet popular in the practice of Indians schools. What options can students vouch for?

Nayana Mallapurkar:

In the Indian society, an individual pursuing main stream education has a glorified status. Vocational education is viewed as a reluctant option for those who are less privileged, incapable of pursuing main stream education or for the vulnerable sections of society.  

However the good news is that vocational education in India is now moving within the purview of a formal structured program at the university level. The 1st step in this direction has been the BVoc degree (Bachelor of Vocational Education) introduced by the UGC though it's notification in April 2012.

  • This degree will be a judicious mix of skills relating to a particular profession and appropriate content of general education and will suggest a symbiotic link with industries
  • Hence, this will open up opportunities for millions of students to pursue a graduation in various vocations apart from the regular main stream subjects
  • The BVoc degree is at par with any mainstream graduation degree and thus, gives opportunities to students to apply for post graduate courses where the eligibility is any graduation
  • The BVoc programme is also considered as an eligible degree for those seeking government jobs

(Read: How vocational education can solve employability problems in engineering)


How vocational courses can help students:

Nayana Mallapurkar:

  • The BVoc programme gives an opportunity to the student to choose a vocation of his/her choice, rather than be pushed into main stream education for which he/she has no interest and does not add any value for further progression
  • Also, the focus of the vocational courses is to gain hands-on experience, which makes the students industry ready. Thus, these students stand a better chance in terms of employability


Unique features of TISS SVE model towards skill training:

Nayana Mallapurkar:

The TISS-SVE BVoc programme is a unique programme with emphasis on:

  • Work Integrated Training (WIT): The curriculum includes 270 hours of theory training (vocational theory and generic content) and 360 hours of practical/on-the-job training in the Industry in the respective sector per semester
  • Students get paid a stipend for the hours spent for on-the-job training. Hence this also allows the student to "Earn While You Learn". This allows students to pay for the course fees and support themselves without putting much financial burden on their parents / guardians
  • The BVoc programme allows the option of multiple entry and exit system. Although, it is a full-time degree programme, the students can exit after completing a level and begin working as a skilled professional in the chosen skill. Later, they can rejoin for progression to the next level. TISS-SVE will award level certificate on successful completion of each level
  •  Students will get hands-on experience from the industry through the Skill Knowledge partner during the training period, thereby giving them a much needed edge when they compete for jobs
  • TISS-SVE vocational courses seeks to have as minimal eligibility criterion as possible. This is to enable education to reach out to as many students as possible. Thereby, it endeavours to design and make programmes as inclusive as possible and on a continuous basis
  • TISS-SVE has its presence in more than 35 cities in the country. This programme is implemented through our Training Hub partners and will provide access to students at local level ensuring quality education.


Read: Vocational Education and Skilling: Changing homemakers to career women

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