Vocational courses to be linked with regular ones

HYDERABAD: Vocational education is generally considered a poor cousin of the regular courses despite the advantages it has with regard to instant employment.
Parents don't believe in asking their wards to study vocational courses leaving the regular courses that lead to a degree in engineering.

The conventional mode apart similar scenario exists in the open school system that is aimed at catching downtrodden and disadvantaged sections.

Realising the need for bringing vocational education closer to the regular academics, the recently held meeting of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) discussed the ways to connect the both in the interest of students.

Establishing linkages between vocational training and academic courses for value addition to the qualifications earned by youth to enhance their employability and developing programmes on basic education and equivalency programmes with integrating vocational training for the neo-literates to support Sakshar Bharat programme were the major recommendations of the meeting.

In that direction it was decided to launch vocational stream courses at Senior Secondary level for developing a career path for the youth, who otherwise cannot have access to higher education system.

Need-based

Developing need-based vocational courses for skill development on the priority sectors through Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy and developing competency based modular courses for skill training with the provision of credit accumulation and transfer were other major decisions.

Ananda Kishore, Director of the A.P. Open School Society (APOSS) agrees, “Integrating the vocational education with regular mode will give good results as the target group is fit for that. Most of them are first-generation learners who not only need education but skills that fetch them decent employment.” In fact, the APOSS is translating 45 volumes of the NIOS in Telugu to distribute them to students where the curriculum is a good mix of regular course capsules and lessons that expose students to vocational education.

Credit accumulation

In fact, the credit accumulation and transfer that NIOS recommended is already being adopted by the APOSS. Students who have failed in the regular mode can transfer their credits of the subjects they have passed in regular course and complete the backlogs in the open school system. “The facility will help thousands of candidates who don't have time and confidence to take exams in the regular mode again,” says Mr. Ananda Kishore.

The popularity of the open school courses is gaining and it reflects in the growing numbers.

Mr. Kishore says 1.4 lakh candidates enrolled for the SSC course started under open school system in 2008-09 and 54,000 candidates have already cleared the examinations. This year enrolment has crossed over a lakh.
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