Govt launches vocational training for students

The Karnataka government on Wednesday launched the ‘National Vocational Education Qualification (NVEQ) Framework’ programme, aimed at augmenting employment opportunities based on vocational training.

Under the programme, select government schools will introduce vocational training for class 9 students, to begin with, in the ongoing academic year.

The programme is based on the concept of the Centrally-sponsored scheme for ‘vocationalisation of secondary education’.

“The Centre has selected West Bengal and Haryana for launching the project on a pilot basis. However, the Karnataka government, on its own interest in upgrading vocational education, has taken up NVEQ with Central government funds,” said Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, at the launch of the programme.

100 schools selected

The training programme will be implemented for class 9 students in about 100 government schools selected from all the four divisions in the State. The education districts selected for the project include Bangalore Rural, Ramanagar, Mysore, Hassan, Belgaum, Dharwad, Sirsi, Gulbarga, Raichur and Yadgir.

The schools were selected based on the available infrastructure and instructional facilities in these schools.

The programme will cover 1,000 students, initially. Vocational training is being planned in four sectors – information technology (IT), automobile, retail and security. This year, the government will begin with the IT sector.

No change in curriculum

As per the details laid out by the department, senior teachers will be appointed as co-ordinators for the programme. There will be no change in the existing curriculum. The vocational training classes will be introduced in place of craft and creativity classes.

Kageri said the government has so far focused on developing professional courses like engineering and medicine, while the vocational courses have taken a backseat as they are separated from general education.

“Even though the automobile sector has grown, one cannot find trained staff to assist with repair work. The vocational training helps to create skilled workforce to meet various demands of the industry,” he said.

G Kumar Naik, Secretary, Department of Education, said there should be a change in the notion that vocational course is for a student bad in studies.

“This programme will help students to choose their field of interest, hone skills in it and earn a living from it,” he said. The government will eventually help students to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees after completing the vocational courses of their interest, he added.

Based on the feedback and the result of the project in Haryana and West Bengal, the government will consider extending the project to other schools next academic year.

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