Staff Correspondent

It will start 50 new skill development and vocational courses

Vocational courses for women to be introduced

Courses for anganwadi, Stree Shakthi members planned

MYSORE: In a determined step to create employment opportunities, the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), has announced the introduction of 50 new academic programmes, mostly skill development and vocational courses, in the current academic year.

Target

It has set a target to reach out to over one lakh students in the academic year and to ensure that higher education through distance mode is availed by 50 per cent of the population.

“Our prime focus is to make education and jobs go together. Higher education through distance mode was available to just 8 per cent of the population. It was increased to 20 per cent after the KSOU was established. We are determined to reach out to 50 per cent in the next two years,” said KSOU Vice-Chancellor B.A. Vivek Rai.

Participating in the ‘meet-the-press’ programme organised by the Mysore District Journalists’ Association (MDJA), Prof. Rai said the university is striving to introduce more diploma, certificate and skill-oriented courses to ensure immediate jobs.

Currently, the university is running about 100 courses and 60,000 students had taken admissions for courses in 2007-08.

Courses for women

The university proposes to introduce women-oriented courses so that more jobs are created for women. The Department of Women and Child Development is very keen on the idea of developing courses for anganwadis and Stree Shakthi members, Prof. Rai said.

“I have discussed the matter with the Department Secretary Shalini Rajneesh who is receptive to the initiative. Of course, we need to relax certain rules on the admissions, which we shall look into. If women are equipped with skills, they do not need degrees to get jobs,” he said.

Prof. Rai said that the service, health, food and agriculture are the potential sectors for employment generation and the university is planning to introduce short-term courses in these areas.

Health workers, created with basic training, could supplement doctors in rural areas for better health care facilities. “We are in talks with the government and also private hospitals for starting courses on health,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the university is identifying new technologies in the areas of computers, printing, animation and graphic designing for introducing vocational courses. “We are even thinking of introducing courses in fashion designing for garment factory workers,” he said. He said the university was in touch with State Human Rights Commission to introduce certificate courses in human rights. Courses in cyber laws are also planned, he added.

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