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Archive for the ‘National Vocational Qualification Framework’ Category

Ministries fight over vocational education

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A row has broken out between the ministries of labour and human resource development over the latter’s attempt to lay down a framework for vocational education. Officials at the Ministry of Labour, the nodal agency for vocational education, say the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is stepping on their toes by proposing a national vocational education framework.

But MHRD officials argue that the labour ministry has failed to meet rising skilled manpower requirement, creating the need for them to step in and integrate skill training with mainstream education. The government has asked the labour ministry to create a pool of 100 million skilled workers by 2022, as part of an overall target of 500 million workers, to meet the needs of various industries.

The labour ministry supervises more than 9,000 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Industrial Training Centres, where at least 1.2 million students are enrolled. Though the labour ministry has its own accrediting body and institutes to design courses, monitor and issue certificates, the MHRD plans to link these functions with private bodies, such as sector skill councils, under its vocational education framework, two labour ministry officials said.

“They are entering our domain,” said R.L. Singh, who heads the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET) under the labour ministry. “What is the accountability mechanism the HRD (ministry) is working on for the vocational framework?” Three rounds of discussion have failed to sort out differences between the ministries, said a second labour ministry official. “We can take this to the Prime Minister’s Office,” this official said, asking not to be identified.

A MHRD official said the labour ministry has failed to perform its task. “We are the ministry in charge of education, and are free to design our own course and have our own affiliation. As such, the ITIs are not great examples of quality vocational training institutes,” said the official, requesting anonymity. The official said 22 ministries, including HRD, have been tasked with creating the required pool of workers under a national skill development mission.

S.J. Amalan, head of the Regional Directorate of Apprenticeship Training, Kolkata, a body under the labour ministry, said the labour ministry’s stance is correct, but it needs to expand its capacity-building network. “We have to be contemporary and industry-worthy while expanding our base,” he said. Students seeking certification from the labour ministry sometimes get caught up with procedural delays, Amalan said. The ministry should expedite the process.

The MHRD earlier had a similar row with the Ministry of Health over the regulation of medical education. The health ministry prevailed by retaining the right to monitor and regulate medical education and the practice of medicine.

Source: Mint, October 14, 2011


Written by Jamshed Siddiqui

October 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

New vocational policy to allow easy entry, exit

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The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is working on a new vocational education framework that will allow students to get graduation level degree with easy entry and exit provisions enabling education with work. The ministry had unveiled the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF), seeking to create a pool of skilled workforce for the country through a national vocational university having regional centres to implement the programme.

In it, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has identified seven certification levels of knowledge and skill with first four levels equivalent to class IX to XII of school education. These levels will be attained through Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) schools or schools affiliated to state boards, a ministry’s statement said.

The three and five levels would of the college and university and those completing all seven levels will get a degree in vocational education. In each level, a student will have to complete 1,000 hours of education and training every year. “The skill modules or the vocational content at a certification level could be a single skill or a group of skills of the number of hours prescribed,” the statement said.

The students will have freedom to choose either from a vocational or a conventional stream to reach graduation level. It has also been proposed that a student will have freedom to move from vocational stream to current formal higher education stream or vice versa at various stages.

“The multi-level entry and exit system shall allow a student to seek employment after any level and flexibility to rejoin the education as and when feasible to upgrade qualification or skill competency,” the ministry said. The students would be able to seek employment after clearing class XII level of certification.

The proposed system to be operationalised from 2012 seeks to establish a National Vocational Education and Training Institute to supplement the role of the proposed university.

Source: Hindustan Times, October 10, 2011

Centre to establish vocational education cell within CBSE

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The Centre will establish a vocational education cell within the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as per the revised scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary Education, which includes imparting vocational education in Classes XI and XII. The revised scheme has been approved for implementation in the remaining period of the current Five-Year Plan.

It also envisages strengthening of the 1,000 existing vocational schools and establishment of 100 new vocational schools by the State governments. The government will provide assistance to 500 vocational schools being run under the private-public partnership mode and in-service training of existing and fresh teachers. The focus will be on development of 250 competency based modules for each individual vocational courses and assistance to 150 reputed non-governmental organisations to run short duration innovative vocational education programmes.

A pilot programme under the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) will be initiated in Haryana and West Bengal. The Sector Skill Councils, being set up by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), have developed the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for some sectors and these will govern all activities to be taken up in vocational education.

The ambitious NVEQF programme, which aims to feed the industry with skilled hands, was launched in New Delhi on Saturday for polytechnic and engineering colleges. Unveiling the initiativeHuman Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said multiple sectors were involved in developing the syllabi, which enunciates the requirements of the industry for the skills that are necessary.

In all, there will be seven levels of certification ending at the university level. The unique part of the vocational framework is that it will be integrated with mainstream education and thus provide students multi-level entry and exit options, to enable them to seek employment after class XII. Any student under NVEQF can be sure that the institution is government authorised and nationally accredited and that the degree and other qualifications are genuine, said All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman S.S. Mantha.

Earlier this year, the government set up a GoM consisting of state Education Ministers to suggest developing NVEQF. The report was presented to the Ministry last month. Mr. Sibal suggested that skill requirement in the agriculture sector should also be included under the purview of NVEQF and that courses in this field should be launched by 2013. The NVEQF will have provisions for subsidised fee structure for larger accessibility and programme delivery in local language.

Source: The Hindu, October 9, 2011

Vocational studies to get new curriculum in October, 2011

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Faced with the problem of school dropouts and dearth of skilled labour, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) plans to finalise by October a new curriculum for vocational studies in the country. The National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) will put in place a nationally recognised qualification system, covering higher secondary schools, vocational education institutes, polytechnics, colleges and institutes of higher education.

For this, the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has identified eight skill areas for immediate attention and has involved the private sector for devising curriculum, testing, evaluation and certification. These eight areas are automobile, hospitality and tourism, security and energy, retail, media and entertainment, information technology, construction, and financial services, banking and insurance.

AICTE has already held meetings with the various stakeholders in the automobile, information technology, hospitality, media and entertainment and construction sectors and curriculum has already been prepared for the first three sectors. “Many students drop out of school or are not interested in regular formal education. Some fail their senior secondary exams while others have to work to support their families. In some cases, there are no formal colleges near their homes. The framework will benefit them,” said AICTE Chairman SS Mantha.

There are 9,583 schools offering 150 vocational courses of two-year duration in broad areas of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. In addition, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) imparts vocational education in 80 courses, taking the total enrolment in vocational education courses of all these schools to roughly 6,00,000. The framework will have 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.

With dropout rates nearing 40% in Classes IX-XII, Mantha added that vocational education would offer competency-based skills and help students find employment. Representatives from the industry chambers, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are also helping the ministry develop the framework.

“The ministry identified eight sectors for white collar jobs and a group of 12 state education ministers is examining the issues that may need sorting out at the state level to implement AICTE’s ambitious scheme. The group is expected to submit its report by July,” said Shalini Sharma, Head – Higher Education, Confederation of Indian Industry.

Source: The Financial Express, July 1, 2011

Industry being enlisted to boost vocational training standards

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The central government is enlisting a number of industry segments to help it improve the standards of vocational education so that students emerge better skilled and become more employable. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) interacted with the automobile sector to devise vocational courses tailored to the needs of the industry. Representatives of auto companies including Tata Motors Ltd. and Ashok Leyland Ltd. attended the meeting, ministry officials said. Next in line are the construction and hospitality industries.

The effort is a departure from the tradition of academics and bureaucrats deciding what and how students should be taught, with no role for their eventual employers. Industry has for long complained that students may graduate with diplomas and degrees, but lack the requisite and relevant skills to be employable, forcing companies to spend time, effort and money to train them.

“We had a constructive interaction with the automobile industry and we have formed a committee headed by R. Seshasayee (Managing Director of Ashok Leyland) to help the ministry in its effort,” HRD minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday. “The committee will submit a report within three months detailing the road map for vocational education relevant for the concerned industry,” said the minister, adding that this initiative is aimed at making students more employable. The initiative is aimed at helping both students and industry, he said.

According to official statistics, India’s unemployment rate was 9.4% in 2009-10, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the level in 2005. Narayanan Ramaswamy, Executive Director (Education) at consulting and auditing firm KPMG, said involving the industry in formulating vocational courses had the potential to bring “path-breaking results”. The automobile industry alone faces a shortage of 300,000 skilled people, he said, citing a survey.

“This effort will bridge the gap and give employment to a large number of students with a handsome salary,” he said.
“Providing skilled people to labour-intensive sectors like automobile, construction and manufacturing will reduce unemployment in India. The moment you involve industry in education, you get the perspective on the demand and supply chain.”

The effort will start at the senior secondary level with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and then spread to the state educational boards. While 220 million students are in schools, less than 15 million are expected to pursue higher education, and better vocational education will improve the chances of employment for the dropouts.

“Once you give them the option at the secondary level, students will go for it,” said a MHRD ministry official. “Industry too is facing a huge shortage of skilled manpower in the lower and middle strata of the human resource structure.” The official didn’t want to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Sibal said a separate section will be created within the CBSE to promote vocational education. The MHRD is targeting mid-2011 to put in place a national vocational education framework that will give students from Class 8 onwards the option of choosing from a range of subjects including hospitality, electronics and automobiles that they would study alongside their regular syllabus. “We are for inclusive education and we will bring in necessary changes so that students specialising in vocational courses can smoothly go to the universities as well,” Sibal said.

Source: Mint, December 9, 2010

National Vocational Education Qualification Framework: MHRD meets auto industry reps

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Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. Kapil Sibal, presided over a Round Table on “Development of a National Vocational Education Qualification Framework” on December 6. This meeting was with representatives of the automotive sector and the discussion was on the subject of automobile industry specific vocational education. The meeting was organized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The Minister will also be holding similar interactions with representatives of other industry sectors as well to develop curriculum for industries such as IT and Telecom, Entertainment, Hospitality, Construction, Financial Services and Insurance.

To develop the course curriculum for this sector, a core group was constituted by Mr. Sibal, which would function under the chairmanship of Dr. R. Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland Limited and includes M/S S.S. Mantha, Chairman, AICTE; Ashok Thakur N. K. Sinha, both Additional Secretaries in the HRD Ministry; and Subhash Khuntia, Joint Secretary in the HRD Ministry. The committee would be submitting its recommendations to MHRD within three months. This Committee may co opt other experts as and when required.

Mr. Kapil Sibal pointed out that 56% of our economy and growth comes from the service sector, which is unsustainable, with the country’s population crossing 1.2 billion. The national impetus that contributes to the service sector should continue, but the manufacturing sector definitely needs greater attention, he said. He emphasised that we have to create skills to empower our manpower, keeping in context fast changing technology. There is need to develop a system of vocational education with different levels of training (may be seven to eight) starting at the school level from class nine, with a choice for selecting the area of interest, he said. This should seamlessly provide multi-point entry to appropriate jobs and/or higher education. He further said that we need to build a framework which provides a system of certification for the selected choices and provides options for vertical mobility from school to university.

The minister underlined the need to develop a curriculum which is need based and caters to the different aspects of the automobile industry. He called for active collaboration with the automobile industry to develop the curriculum for this qualification framework, as also for the support system for hands on training, virtual training and software training. He pointed out that 39 million students pass out from class 12, of which only 1 million get an opportunity to be empowered through vocational education.

Addressing the gathering, Mrs. D. Purandeshwari, Minister of State for HRD said that the provisions of the National Policy on Education 1986 emphasize the introduction of systematic, well planned and rigorously implemented program of Vocational Education. She said that the qualitative aspect of assessment of the manpower situation should include a national qualification framework to address various issues of manpower assessment of training to facilitate lifelong learning of workers.The Secretary Department of Higher Education, Mrs. Vibha Puri Das and Prof. S.S.Mantha, Chairman AICTE also addressed the group.

The conference was attended by representative of automobile industry including Ashok Leyland Ltd., Scooters India Ltd., Asia Motor Works Ltd., BMW India Pvt. Ltd., Greaves Cotton Ltd., Piaggio Vehicles Ltd., Reva Electric Car Company, Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd., VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd., Hyundai Motors India Ltd., Rimaco Machines, Siemens Ltd., the professional bodies including NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, FICCI, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the policy makers and officials of Ministry of Human Resource Development. The automobile sector contributes to Rs. 2 trillion of revenue figures and provides an opportunity for employment to at least 13 million people.

The delegates deliberated on various issues related to development of qualification framework and there was common consensus on the following:

  1. There is an acute shortage of labor at Tier 2 and Tier 3, so there is a need to evolve a strategy to compensate the shortage. This may include some short term, medium term and long term solutions. The industry may evolve the short-term and medium-term solutions. But the vocational qualification frame work is required for providing a long-term solution to become a global leader.
  2. Students have no motivation to opt for the vocational stream, hence trainers as well as students both need to be incentivized for attracting them for the vocational stream. There were references to other countries, where students willingly go for vocational education, which ensures a secure job opportunity.
  3. The manpower produced at the vocational, polytechnic or at a degree level lacks required core competence needed for the industry. The so-called skilled manpower is further required to be trained for 2-3 years to shape them as per industry requirement.
  4. Vocational education needs to be incentivized by industry either by offering incentive packages or by developing a process of certification.
  5. It is anticipated that by 2020, about 220 million students will pass out from school, out of which, about 150 million will not enroll for college education. This young talent needs to be motivated for vocational education.
  6. There are three important components of developing the qualification frame work for vocational education —development of curriculum, certification through examination, and incentivisation.
  7. The qualification framework should provide opportunities for lateral movement in main stream higher education and should ensure capacity building and skill development through quality education.
  8. There is a need for suitable trainers to impart technical training to the students of this stream.
  9. In addition to the core skills of the automobile industry, there is felt need of skilled drivers, mechanics and other skilled manpower for proper servicing of latest automobiles. There is a huge shortage of skilled manpower and no suitable framework available to cater to the needs of the services and sales sector in the automotive industry.
  10. The automobile industry will come forward and collaborate with the institutions by providing required hardware and suitable trainers to teach the aspirants of vocational stream.
  11. It was felt that the curriculum of vocational framework should be such that it provides a mix of technical skill with managerial skill for vertical integration in the industry and there should be regular refresher courses to update technical skills.

Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India, December 8, 2010

New norms for vocational study

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In order to address the skill shortage, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has proposed a National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) on international lines to link various qualifications and set common principles and guidelines for nationally recognized qualification system. Eleven countries presently have NVQFs including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK.

The unified system of national qualification will cover schools, vocational education and training institutions and higher education sector. NVQF is based on nationally recognized occupational standards which details listing of all major activities that a worker must perform in the occupation or competency standards – a detailed listing of the knowledge, skills and attitude that a worker should possess to perform a task written by the particular employment-led sector skills council.

NVQF, to be discussed in the meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), is to implement PM Manmohan Singh’s stress to set up a Vocational Education Mission. CABE will also discuss new legislations like the NCHER Bill, setting up of national depository for certificates and issues like common science and mathematics curriculum in Class 11 and 12.

The PM had declared setting up of 1,600 new industrial training institutes and polytechnics,10,000 new vocational schools and 50,000 new skill development centres to ensure 10 million students get vocational training. Currently, 17 ministries / departments deliver vocational educational training programs to 2.8 million people.

Source: The Times of India, June 16, 2010

Written by Jamshed Siddiqui

June 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm