Vocational Education and Training in School Education

Education Ministry orgainses workshop for school students on career guidance

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Education Ministry organised a one-day workshop in partnership with UNICEF and YuWaah

A one-day consultation workshop on Reimagining Vocational Education and Career Guidance for School Students was sponsored by the Ministry of Education. On December 16, 2022, a one-day workshop was organised in partnership with UNICEF and YuWaah. Several suggestions for rethinking and redesigning vocational education modules were examined in depth. The relevance of life skills — both vertical and horizontal, aspirational gap and information asymmetry in vocational education school enrollment, and providing a gender perspective to vocational education were all highlighted.

According to an official statement, the goal of the recently launched National Education Policy 2020 should be to equip students with skills such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, robotic process automation, and cybersecurity so that vocational graduates can compete in the global economy. During the one-day session, the need of establishing virtual laboratories was also emphasised, so that all students have equitable access to high-quality practical and hands-on experience.

The consultation workshop also benefited from comments from students who completed vocational programmes such as multi-skilling and information technology.

Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, presided over the consultation workshop and two roundtable discussions with representatives from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the Directorate General of Training (ITI), PSSCIVE, Bhopal, NCERT, CBSE, NCVET, and AICTE.

Various specialists from PwC, YuWaah, civil society groups, the state education department, practitioners and organisations working in the domains of vocational education and career guidance, corporates, and current and past students also attended the workshop and roundtable discussion.

The Secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy stated during the keynote address that India has to catch up with other nations in terms of skilling the workforce through formal vocational training throughout the student years. NEP 2020 has recognised such difficulties and proposed solutions, he noted.

Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships, and Terry Durian, Chief of Education, UNICEF, also spoke during the consultations.

The second Roundtable discussed current systems of career counselling in schools, as well as significant learnings and best practices. According to the Secretary of Education, solutions should focus on developing an institutional model of career counselling in schools with size, speed, and sustainability through the use of technological advancements such as artificial intelligence. He also mentioned that resources needed to be mapped and a database created. Discussions about career advising also touched on the importance of physical interventions and career counselling in schools.