Vocational training, beginning in school, will help skill youngsters for employment, say education officials

Following the G20 education working group meeting that concluded in Chennai on Thursday, the Union school education and higher education secretaries said many G20 countries have had good experiences with vocational training, and this was being considered for schools in India

February 03, 2023 11:19 am | Updated 11:19 am IST - CHENNAI

The Union Ministry of Education’s Department of Higher Education Secretary K. Sanjay Murthy with Department of School Education & Literacy Secretary Sanjay Kumar during a press conference at the end of the G20 Education Working Group meeting, in Chennai, Thursday

The Union Ministry of Education’s Department of Higher Education Secretary K. Sanjay Murthy with Department of School Education & Literacy Secretary Sanjay Kumar during a press conference at the end of the G20 Education Working Group meeting, in Chennai, Thursday | Photo Credit: PTI

A recurrent issue that came up in the discussion among the G20 member countries during their recent Education Working Group meeting held in Chennai, was the use of digital technology, blended learning and their uses.

The meeting was held on February 1 and 2 at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras’ (IIT-M) Research Park.

“I think it is a great opportunity for us in India to learn from several countries of G20. The second portion [of the meeting] was how do we make use of schools as a platform in scaling and vocational education,” said Union School Education and Literacy Secretary, Sanjay Kumar.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasises vocational training and many of the G20 countries, especially South Korea, Germany and most European countries, have had good experiences in running vocational educational centres. “If you look at the transition rate from elementary to secondary education, there is a drop. We have identified, as per market needs, several kinds of skilling which we will be providing in schools.. We are looking at how a common-scale of architecture can be developed, and how a match between demand and supply can be made,” Mr. Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar said some countries have had a good experience of providing vocational training from a young age. The NEP also envisaged vocational training from class 6. He pointed out that the NEP had also suggested that by 2025, as many as 50% of school students should be provided a skill. “So it’s a good opportunity to institutionalise it within the school system because you see, if all the children are in school, then it is the best place to learn,” he noted.

Capturing micro credits for vocational skills and putting them into marksheets would help the industry identify skilled employees at a young age, Union Higher Education Secretary K. Sanjay Murthy said. Similarly, in the issue of research too, all countries had allocated a certain amount, he added.

The Department has also started educational outreach with organisations such as ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI urging them to respond to questionnaires from international ranking agencies regarding employer feedback.

To a question as to what decisions were made at the meeting, Mr. Murthy said it helped to understand where countries stood on parameters such as fundamental literacy and numeracy, skilling and vocational education and research and collaboration. The Indian government expects that when the Ministerial-level meeting takes place in June, it would be possible to develop matrices that countries could use to measure their achievements in the coming years.

The officials met mediapersons at the end of the meeting of G20 countries on Thursday.

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