The state government has decided to start skill development and vocational courses in one school in each of 314 blocks from the coming academic session. The school and mass education department plans to tie up with US-based Wadhwani Foundation to facilitate the courses.
“Vocational courses have already been started in 30 schools of the state last year on pilot basis. They have been received well. So we have decided to start the courses in remaining 284 blocks from next academic session,” school and mass education minister, Debi Prasad Mishra, said.
He added that the department will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Wadhwani Foundation next month. “The foundation will provide required technical and infrastructural support to run the courses. It has been providing skill development training in different states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Jharkhand,” said Mishra.
According to sources, the National Skill Development Corporation has identified 40 different subjects on which vocational training will be imparted to students across the country. The subjects will be selected as per the need of different states. Last year, courses in automobiles and information technology were introduced at Class IX in 30 schools of the state. Students will get national-level certification upon completion of the course.
“The state government will send a proposal to project approval board of ministry of human resource development and after approval the roadmap will be drawn,” Mishra said.
The Rastriya Madhyamik Shikshya Abhiyan is funding the course. “Since Wadhwani Foundation has the expertise in providing skill development training, the organisation will help in providing technical support. Vocational courses are quite helpful in reducing dropout rates at high school level and also increase employability of students,” said secondary education director, Ratnakar Rout.
The government has plans to offer vocational courses in all government-run secondary schools in phased manner. The curriculum of the courseswill depnd on National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework and course curriculum is on the lines of national curriculum.
“Since there are plans to merge plus two with school under the Rastriya Madhyamik Sikhya Mission students may continue the vocational trade in higher education as well,” said an officer.