From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Skill education in India
The article deals with state of the education and its relation with employment in India.
Improving higher education system
- Improving India’s higher education justice and worker productivity needs the broadening of our education ambition.
- Our focus on Gross Enrollment Ratio should also be anchored to Employed Learner Ratio -proportion of our 55 crore labour force in formal learning.
- For enrolling five crore new employed learners, India needs five regulatory changes.
Reflecting on global and domestic education experience
- Multi-decade structural changes include organisations that are less hierarchical, lower longevity, shorter employee tenures, higher competition.
- There is also change in the form of work: capitalism without capital, soft skills valued more than hard skills, 30 per cent working from home etc.
- There change in the form of education in which Google knows everything, so tacit knowledge is more valuable than codified or embedded knowledge.
- These shifts are complicated by a new world of politics, third-party financing viability, and fee inflation.
India faces financing failure in skill
- We have 3.8 crore students in 1,000-plus universities and 50,000-plus colleges.
- We confront a financing failure in skills:
- Employers are not willing to pay for training of candidates but a premium for trained candidates.
- Candidates are not willing to pay for training but for jobs.
- Financiers are unwilling to lend unless a job is guaranteed, and training institutions can’t fill their classrooms.
Steps need to be taken
- For many people the income support of learning-while-earning is crucial to raising enrollment.
- Many students lack employability and workers lack productivity because learning is supply-driven.
- Learning-by-doing ensures demand-driven learning.
- The de facto ban on online degree learning with only seven of our 1,000-plus universities licensed for online offerings.
- That needs to be changed.
- High regulatory hurdles creates an adverse selection among entrepreneurs running educational institutions.
Five regulatory changes
- First, modify Part 3 of the UGC Act 1956 and Part 8 of the UGC Act to include skill universities.
- Second, remove clauses 3(A), 3(B), and clause 5 of UGC ODL and Online Regulations 2020 and replace them with a blanket and automatic approval for all accredited universities to design, develop and deliver their online programmes.
- Third, modify clause 4(C)(ii) of UGC online regulations 2020 to allow innovation, flexibility, and relevance in an online curriculum as prescribed in Annex 1-(V)-3-i) that allows universities to work closely with industry on their list of courses.
- Fourth, modify clauses 13(C)(3), 13(C)(5), 13(C)(7), 18(2) of UGC online regulations 2020 to permit universities to create partner ecosystems for world-class online learning services, platforms, and experience.
- Fifth, introduce Universities in clause 2 of the Apprentices Act 1961 to enable all accredited universities to introduce, administer and scale all aspects of degree apprenticeship programs.
- These five changes would enable enrolling five crore incremental employed learner.
Reforming education requires thinking horizontally, holistically, and imaginatively. The reforms suggested here should be carried out considering these aspects.