Problems issues and efforts to overcome vocational education in India
The present TVET system in India is facing some serious problems including outdated courses and curricula, low funding and multiple levels of policy planning and governing. Some of the major problems of the Indian TVET system are listed below:
Multiplicity of regulations, certifications and curriculum
Curriculum is main pillar of VET training system. If VET provisions are implemented by different departments, ministries, agencies and organizations, whether Government or private, with a multiplicity of certification, standards and curricula it will result in overlapping of courses and institutions as well as creating confusion for students and employer.
The demand supply mismatch of job market
The current VET programs are largely supply-driven and still lack of relevant training for available jobs. There is a need to improve links between schools and the industry to minimize this mismatch. A divergence between the skills that the population possesses and skills required by industry is a major cause of low employability among Indian youth. India has predominantly been an agricultural economy and much of its population is still dependant on traditional activities, Over 90% of the labour force of India still works in the informal sector, with low productivity and skills. With low skills and experience limited to the unorganized sector, these workers remain unemployable in industry. The current public VET system offers only a few training courses and covers around 100 skills. Out of these, several skills like stenography have becoming outdated due to the emergence of new technologies. This increases the gap between industry need and manpower supply.
Poor perception and public mindset
Many Indian parents want their children to pursue a clerical job or be an office assistant, not realizing that a technician can earn more than these jobs. In countries like India VET has always been considered by the public and parents as the career choice for the less academically-qualified with the impression that VET is for school drop-outs, rather than as an important strategy to train skilled workers. Too much attention and resources is given to ‘academic’ rather than vocational education.
Lack of coordination among Government Agencies and regulatory bodies
Different ministries manage their employability initiatives independently in India and there is a wide range of VET providers such as social businesses, non profits and corporate. Coordination between all these players is required to create an enabling environment that enhances the capacity, quality and utilization of VET.
Inadequate academia-industry linkage
This results in low rates of employment due to the reason that what job providers are seeking for, are not communicated with the training sector. Besides it also affects the placement.
Lack of updated curriculum
An updated curriculum which is relevant to present day need of the industry is a major requirement. The curriculum should be relevant to the need of the industry.
Shortage of qualified teachers
Availability of good quality trained and qualified teachers and trainers is an important problem. Poor recruitment process of Governments is responsible for this.
Lack of proper infrastructure
building, modern equipment and raw materials is a hurdle in learning during training. This can be attributed to improper release of funds.
Lack of autonomy
Lack of administrative and financial autonomy and accountability is another pitfall in the way. If these institute are given good deal of autonomy, they will be better able to change and adjust them in changing scenario of the present day market needs.
It is clear from the above points that there are a lot of challenges in the field of VET education in India and to achieve the targets there is a strong need of substantial expansion of quality technical and vocational education and training system.
Solutions for the problems of VET sector
There are several suggestions and implications to overcome the challenges and problems of vocational education sector in India and for the overall improvement of the VET sector and skill development programme in India. Below are some of the main suggestions, given under the following heads:
Rejuvenating Vocational Education at Schools level
This can be possible by Improving Provision of VET in Schooling system and by strengthening and establishing new Vocational Schools. In schools, focusing on areas like curriculum building and enrolling quality teachers to improve the existing vocational education courses is need of the time.
Improve public perception of VET
The polytechnics and vocational institutions should rebrand their vocational courses as equivalent of conventional courses. The use of media for sensitisation as well as enlightening of the society is necessary in order to dispel the myth crated around VET.
Collaboration of the private sector, international development partners and other stakeholders
The policymakers in the VET system should emphasize the collaboration with the private sector, international development partners and other stakeholders to support government’s efforts to ensure effective implementation of VET. This collaboration should take care of advocacy to change public perception of VET, access to funds, training of VET instructors and provision of infrastructural learning resources.
Ensuring proper funding
The Ministry of Education should persuade the Federal Government to earmark adequate funding for VET in the face of the daunting challenges highlighted above. Other funding sources like World BankStep-B intervention fund, and Commonwealth assistance should be explored.
Establishment of good Relationship with industry
For proper results of mainstreaming VET with the needs of the industry, it is required raining to form strong relationships between the training institutes and industry. This would be beneficial in two ways. Firstly, institutes would get access to facilities of practical exposure to students during industrial tours, Industrial attachment and internship. Secondly, a it would encourage the private sector to direct their corporate social responsibility initiatives towards fortification of TVET in the polytechnics, like the steps taken by Microsoft Inc., NBC, CISCO, NIKE in the middle-East, India and other developing countries.
Bringing skill development programmes under one roof
The entire national skill development system should be put under the single ministry or governing body, rather than running them under the leadership of several other Ministries. This will lead to better focus and coordination between different initiatives.
Revisiting the Apprenticeship Act
The government formed the Apprenticeship Act in 1961 to connect job seekers and industrial units. It made obligatory for employers in specified industries to provide basic skills and job training according to prescribed standards. There is a need for improvements in the 1961 Act according to the present times, circumstances and challenges faced by youth, which are different from thosr existed in India at the time of formulation of the act. The employment scenario has changes and different types of skills are required to meet the present industrial demand.
National Vocational Education Council
National council of vocational educational board is a national vocational education development organized mission promotes by planning commission government of India to ensure public organized co-operation effort implementation of the vocational education development plan. The constitution and functioning of public organized is approved unanimously by the planning commission government of India. The vocational and educational center is established in accordance with the government of republic of India (official newsletter of republic of India issue 87/06), as a public institution for accordance and integration of public interests and the interests of the social partners in the vocational education and training (article 31 from the law for vocational education and training, from official newsletter issue 71/06 and 117/08). In accordance to article 32 from the above mentioned law, the center performs specialized supervisions, evaluation, studying, promotion, and research and development if the vocational training and education, and other tasks in accordance with the law, and the statute.