At least ten community colleges will be started by each university to provide vocational training to unskilled workers by September 1, a meeting chaired by Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy decided on Wednesday.
A. Ramasamy, Vice-Chairman, Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education (TANSCHE), said universities would provide infrastructure and faculty support, while the Directorate of Technical Education would provide the course content and conduct the examinations.
The courses would be tailored to the needs of specific communities. For instance, the colleges opened near Tirupur would focus on textile workers' training, Dr. Ramasamy said. In all, around 300 such targeted courses could be offered, he added.
Kumar Jayant, Commissioner, Directorate of Technical Education, said the courses would be standardised across universities and would help upgrade skills of those already practising their different vocations.
There would be no educational requirements apart from the minimal ability to read and write. The courses would be offered over six months and successful candidates would get a diploma certificate from the directorate.
To help practising professionals, the courses could be offered in the evenings or on weekends, but the details would be worked out in consultation with the universities.
The courses would be of around 150 hours duration each and a plan of offering them free of cost is also under consideration, government sources said.
The meeting, attended by Vice-Chancellors of different universities, Principal Secretary Higher Education K. Ganesan, TANSCHE member-secretary S. Baskaran, apart from Dr. Ramasamy and Mr. Jayant, also discussed the upcoming World Classical Tamil meet.
At the meeting, it was also decided that three students selected from each university after preliminary rounds would participate in the final round of competitions at the University of Madras on June 15 in essay-writing, oratorical skills and poetry-writing in connection with the Tamil conference. Three winners in each competition would receive prizes from Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in Coimbatore during the conference.