From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Right to Education Act, Skill India Mission
Mains level : Paper 2- Skill development of youth in India
Significant progress has been made in India on the skill development front. However, there are many challenges that are needed to be tackled through policy measures and their effective implementation. The article deals with the issue.
Progress in skill development in India
- Evidence shows that many people develop 21st-century skills on the job, or from courses that focus on practical application of skills, rather than in schools.
- India has laid the foundation for delivering on the vision of making quality skills development programmes available to the youth.
- Vocational education can be a route for many to gain specific skillsets, such education formats are referred to as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
- The National Skill Development Policy was launched in 2009 and revamped in 2015, recognising the challenge of skilling with speed and high standards.
- The Skill India Mission was launched soon after, with the vision for making India the “skill capital” of the world.
Key finding and recommendations of the UNESCO’s State of the Education Report for India
- The report focuses on vocational education and training and showcases the growth of the skills development sector.
- It also provides practical recommendations to ensure that policy is effectively implemented.
- One of the biggest challenges for expanding the reach of TVET-related courses has been the lack of aspiration and stigma attached to jobs such as carpentry and tailoring.
- Considerable effort, including information campaigns involving youth role models, would help in improving the image of vocational education.
- At the same time, common myths around TVET need to be debunked.
- Research is now proving that TVET graduates for entry level jobs can get paid as much as university graduates.
- Moreover, students from vocational streams typically take less time to find jobs as compared to university graduates.
- The report emphasises the need for expanding evidence-based research.
- High-quality research based on careful data-gathering and analytics can add value to all aspects of TVET planning and delivery.
Emphasis on vocational education in NEP
- The new National Education Policy (NEP) aims to provide vocational education to 50% of all learners by 2025.
- Schools are encouraged to provide students access to vocational education from Grade 6 onwards and to offer courses that are aligned to the local economies and can benefit local communities.
- For the vision of the NEP to be fulfilled, a robust coordination mechanism for inter-ministerial cooperation is necessary for bringing the skills development and vocational education systems together.
Effective implementation of the policies for skill development is essential for capitalising on the country’s demographic dividend.