Skill India in Education

  • India has among the youngest populations in the world, which means it can make a resourceful pool of manpower. A pre-requisite though is that it receives the right form of education, skills and employment. A step in this direction is the Skill Development Mission.
  • However, an issue that has been plaguing India since long now is jobless growth. The skilling programme has been built such that it provides short-term training to youth who have already dropped out from school.
  • The idea is to provide them with a job by offering short-term technical/non-technical courses rather than actively enable them to seek out a career.
  • The concern here is that those who gained employment post-training were found to have dropped out in less than one year. For those who completed a year in employment, the system did not offer a career because career advancement is not just related to skills, but also to educational qualifications.
  • The issue is that the same system that endeavours to provide jobs to youth restricts their career advancement, labelling them instead as dropouts.
  • The skill programme fails to understand how integral it is to incorporate such a huge initiative within the education system. A system that integrates skills and education can go a long way in ensuring that the youth are better equipped to handle a challenging employment market.
  • The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is a centrally sponsored scheme of ‘vocationalisation’ of secondary and higher secondary education.
  • It focusses on enhancing the employability of youth through demand-driven, competency-based, modular vocational courses, while reducing drop-out rates.
  • Yet, its biggest drawback is that its modules are not customised to suit the requirements of children in different age groups. The same approach for skill training a 12- or 14-year-old cannot be followed for training an 18-year-old because skills need to be looked at more dynamically. Skills at school should be imparted as a hobby and not as a serious trade, to make learning fun.
  • Moreover, operational challenges within the schools are barriers to coalesce the education and skill model. For instance, BMC schooling in Maharashtra doesn’t provide for more than 70-80 hours per year for a vocational subject opted for by a student.
  • Thus, it is not possible to complete the desired National Occupational Standards requirement of 150 hours for skills training. Also, there is lack of proper infrastructure and unavailability of quality trainers.
  • We need strategic thinking while looking at skills at school. The government must learn from the gaps while implementing its skill development programmes for 18-plus youth and then develop its strategy for integrating skills within schools.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top