A change in attitude towards education, need of the hour
Though the Government has taken steps to highlight activity-oriented learning and introduce vocational subjects to students, educationists feel a change in attitude towards education is needed to make it more acceptable among parents and teachers.
The Central Government and various State Boards have started giving importance to skill training pointing out the lack of exposure to practical skills among students. The introduction of Continuous Evaluation System aims to give more importance to the co-scholastic skills of children. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) offers a wide range of vocational subjects including geospatial technology, food production, mass media studies and media production from which the schools could choose and introduce it for students. Many CBSE schools in Coimbatore said that there were not many takers for these courses and hence they had not included it in the syllabus. Geetha Gopinath, principal, SBOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said that the school offered regular science, commerce and economics courses for Plus-Two and had not introduced any vocational courses because there were not many takers.
“Most students wanted to get into professions like medicine, engineering and chartered accountancy and they preferred the regular courses. Most of the students and parents are not open to the idea of having vocational training during school hours,” she said.
General machinist, electrical machines and appliances, draughtsman civil, auto mechanic, textile technology, nursing, textiles and dress designing, food management and child care agricultural practices were some of the courses included under the State Board. M. Eshwaran, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary School Graduate Teachers' Association said that vocational courses at higher secondary level were less preferred by students. A few schools said they included vocational training during the extra-curricular activities by dedicating separate hours for the subject. Roshini Edward, principal, G.D. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said that the school provided training in cookery.
“One period during school hours is dedicated for the class. Students show interest in cooking as it also gives them a break from academics,” she said.
While extra curricular classes like music, karate, yoga and other activities were opted by many students, training in vocational skills like carpentry, tailoring, automobile repairing and electrical works were not preferred by many. But, in an emerging trend a few CBSE, ICSE and international curriculum-based schools in the city have started to give training in skills like electrical works and automobile repairing which would help students in day-to-day life.