The national framework on vocational education, unveiled here Saturday, will train school children in skill development, providing job opportunities to nearly 150 million who are not able to access higher education, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said. "The national vocational education qualification framework (NVQEF) will meet the requirement of skilled hands for driving industrial growth. We have a shortage of around five million skilled workforce in the country," Sibal said.
Of the 200 million students who enroll for Class 1 every year, only 20 million are able to complete Class 12. "Sectors like automobile, telecom, and even entertainment have a huge space between demand and supply of skilled workforce. Today, the need is to bring vocationally empowered students at par with those who have paper degrees," Sibal said, adding that there will be a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) degree for vocational education.
Introduced in Class 9, the programme is available to students once they register with a college approved by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for a vocational diploma or degree. The student can also register with any other institute affiliated to any technical board or university.
"The vocational programme comprises of various levels of vocational credit from Class 9 onwards. Students after Class 8 can take up other vocational subjects like carpentering, para-medical, hospitality, and construction, among others," he added. The 10-stage certificate-based vocational education allows student to complete four levels till Class 12, and the remaining six levels till post-graduation.
While the academic syllabus is yet to be prepared for the next session, the complete programme will start from 2012. "The student receiving the vocational training can leave the programme at any level to join the industry. Our aim was to reach out to the school drop-outs who are never able to become a part of the country's skilled workforce," said S.S. Mantha, chairperson (acting) of the AICTE.
Vocational certificate or diploma or degree will be awarded depending on the credit levels completed by the student. The areas covered by programme includes agriculture, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, IT, retail and environment.