Let students switch between general & vocation courses: panel

Let students switch between general & vocation courses: panel

Students of class 8 and above  may get to switch from general education to vocational courses and vice versa if the Karnataka Knowledge Commission has its way.

A 14-member panel, co-chaired by Team Lease Services Chairman Manish Sabharwal and MEMG International Chairman T V Mohandas Pai, has  come out with  the Karnataka Skill Development Plan that provides an outline for the state to address skill development in a variety of sectors and its integration with education, employment and professional development.

The panel recently submitted its report to the newly set up Department of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood of the state government.

The panel strongly felt  the need for a two-way movement between general education and vocational education. Presently, students who opt for vocational education, say at the pre-university level, do not have the option to return to general education. "We have recommended that this barrier be removed," Mukund K Rao, member-secretary, KKC, told  DH.  He is also a member of the skill development committee of the KKC.  

The report states that vocational education should be introduced in secondary school, arguing that  vocational curriculum has failed to attract academically successful professionals.  "The stigma that vocational education and training courses are mainly meant for academically not-so-proficient people has greatly contributed to this notion. It is imperative that an image-building exercise be undertaken for vocational education and skill development," the report states.

Rao also advocated the need for certification of skills. "For instance, there is no identification or certification for a person who has put in 10 years as carpenter or electrician. The panel has suggested setting up a skill university to cater to this and other needs," he added.  

The government has accepted the  skill university recommendation. The  modalities for setting it up  in a public-private partnership are under way, official sources said.

As part of the overall process of skill development, the Karnataka Skill Development Plan has identified the need to redefine employment exchanges into career guidance centres and put the focus on careers rather than jobs.

Other recommendations

*  Establish career centres to help job seekers in job-matching service.

* Corporate championship programme: A company collaborates with the government to conduct training for local youth.  

* Set up a  Karnataka Apprenticeship Corporation to facilitate apprenticeship programmes.  

* Focus on skill development in the sectors of banking, construction, textile, media, agriculture, tourism, agriculture and information technology.  

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