Education has evolved into a fundamental human right over time. Education distinguishes humans from other living beings. It aids in a person's overall growth. It has aided humans in becoming the most intelligent creature on the planet. It gradually prepares people to confront life's obstacles effectively. However, what distinguishes vocational training from standard education is the fact that it is a method of learning that provides direct practical information and aids in the development of certain skills.
It is skill-based training that allows a person to obtain knowledge in a certain area. Vocational education is available in a variety of disciplines, including food, drinks, tourism, medicine, manufacturing, banking and finance, art and culture, and so on.
History of Vocational Training in India
The development process of technical and vocational training, if studied holistically and historically, it is not difficult to establish beyond doubt that the roots of modern scientific, technical and vocational training can be traced back to the Vedic period (before 1000 BC) and the Epic period (1000 BC to 800 BC). This included ashrams (hermitages) of acharyas and “Kulagurus” (teacher sages). Students traveled long distances to study diverse arts, sciences, and medicine in the Indian Land.
If we look at the historical evolution of technical education, we will see that the foundation of technical education in India was set almost at the same time as in Europe, but its growth in India was very restricted and slow until India gained independence.
Following the Battle of Plassey in 1754, the status of British presence was shifted from traders to colonizers. As a result, they needed to have extensive knowledge of the country's topography through a physical survey of the land to control the kingdom. To accomplish this goal, English traders built a survey school in Madras (Chennai) in 1794 to train Indian workers in land surveying to aid British surveyors.
Furthermore, under government strategy, three engineering colleges were established in the three presidencies by around 1856.
- In 1856, the Calcutta College of Civil Engineering was established in the Bengal Presidency.
- The Overseers' School at Pune in Bombay Presidency eventually became the College of Engineering, Pune in 1858.
- The industrial school affiliated with the Gun Carriage Factory in the Madras Presidency eventually became the College of Engineering, Guindy in 1858.
Benefits of Technical & Vocational Training
Technical and vocational education is beneficial not only for individual skill development but also for national skill development. A few of the advantages of how it helps in the creation of values are mentioned below.
It emphasizes the development of practical experiences and new skills, so people who already have a job can choose these. It assists those who wish to learn new skills to advance in their careers. Aside from professionals, students and dropouts can follow this course in their field of interest.
The cost of vocational or technical training is fairly low and inexpensive. These courses are available to those who cannot pay the expense of education. Many vocational courses offer new job opportunities in less time and at a lower cost.
Demand for qualified and semi-skilled professionals is high in all areas. Skilled labor is always paid more than unskilled labor. The presence of skilled people and resources aids in the growth of society and the country's economy. The influence is palpable in developing nations such as India. It reduced the availability of importing labor from other countries.
Vocational and technical training improves individual competency and efficiency. This training prepares a person for employment in the relevant sectors and allows them to earn a reasonable living. Furthermore, acquired individuals may consider launching their firm rather than looking for a job that matches their skills. It paves the way for self-employment.
Vocational Education Under NEP 2020
With the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, vocational training has received the attention it deserves. The NEP 2020 is a detailed policy document that extensively discusses vocational education reform. The policy focuses on integrating vocational education into regular education, as proposed by many education commissions over the years. Nonetheless, growth in the vocational education sector has been excruciatingly slow and stagnant throughout the years.
The Kothari Commission study from 1966 was one of the first to emphasize the importance of vocational courses in the higher secondary curriculum. Later, in 1986, the National Education Policy concentrated on enhancing the organizational and administrative structure of vocational education. It advocated for rationalization at both the secondary and higher education levels, including the addition of Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) as a separate subject in secondary school and vocational degree programs at the higher education level.
The NEP 2020 addresses and attempts to minimize the issues on both the demand and supply sides of vocational education. The provision regarding vocational training in NEP 2020 are mentioned as follows:
- Socially significant and aspirational vision for balanced education - There will be no hard separations to eliminate damaging hierarchies and silos between different areas of learning.
- Reimagining vocational training and sensitization for competency development - Education that is inclusive, interoperable, transdisciplinary, and outcome-based.
- Building capacity in the twenty-first century - A holistic and multidisciplinary education will aid in the development of well-rounded persons with important 21st-century capacities in a variety of areas.
- Internships in schools for skill appreciation and craft-based learning
- Integration of Vocational Education with Academic Learning and the Establishment of NCIVE
- Job market orientation with numerous access and exit points
- Prior Learning Recognition (RPL) and alignment with International Standards
India has far more room for improvement and opportunity in the sphere of rationalization. To improve the quality of education given, the Centre must allocate greater resources and collaborate closely with the state. Improving wage regulation and developing more job possibilities would be India's primary issues in the future years. In recent years, vocational training has grown tremendously, but it has also encountered significant challenges. Facilitating effective partnerships and better articulation arrangements, as well as a diversity of approaches and greater national uniformity in a variety of sectors, are critical to better outcomes.
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