College education overhaul planned

It will help young minds innovate and prepare for globalisation

College education overhaul planned

India plans to open several US-style Community Colleges to help train India students with specialised and appropriate skills relevant to the job market. The step may lead to an improved workforce, said the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Nirupama Rao, on Tuesday.

During a talk organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and the Teacher Foundation, Rao explained that using the US model of education would help the nation achieve the objectives of the National Skill Development Mission and the recently-announced National Manufacturing Policy, which aim to meet the growing need for skilled manpower across sectors.  The move could also narrow the gap between the demand and supply of skills. Community colleges in the United States are institutes of higher learning which specialise in vocational training and skill development over a two year period.

Time-tested model

“Replicating the time-tested community college model in India could go a long way in meeting the objective of matching skills of graduating students with the needs of the industry and the market. We will need hundreds of community colleges for our young people that will help them integrate with the needs of the market. The initiative is part of the India-US Higher Education Dialogue (HED),” she said and explained that under the India-US HED, it is also planned to take 200 junior research fellows from India to universities in the US to amplify their vision and broaden their horizon.

“Nehru Fulbright fellowships are being extended to many areas including education, development, agriculture, economics among others,” she added.

Regional and global

Rao called on school-level educators in the country to understand globalisation and prepare students to engage in both regional and global affairs. “It (school education ) must push an agenda of innovation. It must help students prepare for the future and promote critical thinking,” she said.

Rao also stressed the need to improve the present conditions of libraries in the country.

Reading facilities

“Much needs to be done to provide students, especially the underprivileged, with good reading facilities. Doordarshan could have a dedicated educational channel to disseminate interesting and relevant information for young minds in a multi-disciplinary fashion,” she said.

“The work of Edusat could be amplified to include more than just science education,” Rao added.

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