Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal today chaired a meeting of the state ministers in charge of vocational education to discuss about necessary policy reforms to strengthen vocational education at all stages ofeducation and to put in place a National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework.
Apart from HRD minister Kapil Sibal, the meeting was attended by Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeswari, 17 state ministers, secretaries and senior officers from the state governments.
The meeting was also attended by the heads of apex bodies such as University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE), Indira Gandhi National Open Universit (IGNOU), National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA),Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) andNational Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
Representatives from the National Skill DevelopmentCorporation (NSDC) and from industry associationssuch as Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of IndianChambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also attended the meeting.
An official press release on Friday said, “The necessity and rationale of scaling up of vocational education in the country was highlighted by several participants citing demands of high economic growth, technological and demographic changes, global shortage of skilled manpower, skill deficit in various sectors and mismatch of demand and supply of skill.”
Quoting noted management guru C.K. Prahlad, the noted management guru, Sibal mentioned that “to sustain a double digit growth the country would need 200 million graduates and 500 million skilled people by 2022.”
The release further added that “there was complete unanimity among the states for the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF). This framework 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.”
The framework will be a competency based modular approach with provision for credit accumulation and transfer. 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.
Sector Skill Councils and Industry would collaborate in the development of quality standards, competencies, model curricula, assessment standards and testing procedures. Linkage between education providers and employers would be a pre-requisite. A centrally sponsored scheme of vocational education in the higher secondary stage would complement these efforts.
Sibal stressed that “standardization of processes is important to preserve the past, energize the present and empower the future. A view emerged that the educational institutions could allow its premises to be used after working hours for skilldevelopment.”
It was also unanimously resolved to constitute a group of ministers from state governments to suggest ways and means for strengthening vocational education in the country at all levels and to develop a broad consensus on the contours of the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework.