The government has framed guidelines for its ambitious Earn While You Learn (EWYL) scheme and expedited steps to implement it from next academic year. The parallel efforts being made to advance class hours in colleges will enable students to pursue internship and part-time jobs.
The scheme enables students in the 18-25 age group to earn honorariums through part-time employment. The Labour and Skills Department has been designated as the nodal agency.
The scheme will facilitate part-time employment in government departments, local self-government institutions, public and private enterprises, and other organisations. The students will be permitted to work for a maximum of 90 days a year. Besides, government institutions can earmark 15% of the funds under the salary head to provide honorarium to students.
According to official sources consultations scheduled to be begin next week with various stakeholders on adjusting class hours from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (in place of the current 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are expected to provide an impetus to the implementation of the EWYL scheme.
“The proposed timings will enable students to seek part-time employment without affecting their academic pursuits. The government has received favourable response from all quarters. We hope to rectify the possible inadequacies that could arise subsequently,” says an official.
Officials of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, which has proposed the guidelines, point out that the endeavour could garner multiple benefits beyond imparting skills of employability to the beneficiaries. It is expected to go a long way in supporting those hailing from economically backward sections.
It could benefit at least 3.28 lakh students of 229 government and aided arts and science colleges affiliated to Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut and Kannur universities and nearly 51,000 students of 179 engineering colleges in the State, sources say.
The council has recommended the need to design career-oriented supplementary courses and recognise work experience as part of academic assessment. It has also mooted steps to foster industry-university linkages.