SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS, India has been working on the problem of unemployability and under-employability for a long time now. It has undertaken several measures and steps and launched schemes and missions to help the cause. Our country had been following the educational legacy of the British for all these years. In recent times, India has recognized the need for job-oriented vocational training over the traditional form of education it has been imparting to children and youth for ages.
“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.”- Nelson mandela
Children are the building blocks of our society. What they learn, they execute and that’s what they preach. Hence, if the bud is nourished, the flower will automatically reach its full bloom. The recent boom in entrepreneurial activity has shown that there is a need to change the educational approach and make it more entrepreneurially oriented. The National Education Policy (NEP 2020) laid down guidelines to create a new educational system that is in line with the aspirational goals of 21st Century education. It laid special stress on skill training students. Skill Development Programs designed for the youth have proved more or less beneficial for India. Therefore, the Government decided to implement multi-skill subjects and vocational training in Indian schools too with the aim that it will further the Skill India vision. Children are like blank slates and they learn faster than adults. Moreover, skill subjects could act as a respite from the regular subjects of the curriculum. It would also help them to form a perspective from an early age about career choices and options. Every year, lakhs of students graduate but only a thousand get deserved jobs which proves that educational degrees aren’t enough in this fast-paced world. The job market looks for special skills that differentiate one from many. Skill Education in school would also help students to learn that every job is respectful whether it’s a white-collar job or a blue collared one. Just as interpersonal, critical, creative, and communication skills are important, so are real-life market-based skills.
Complying with the recommendations of the Government, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) took the initiative to promote and develop skill education among school students. CBSE has introduced skill subjects starting from class 6 to 12. Any school affiliated with CBSE will be eligible to impart skill training. Research shows that schools imparting such training have low drop-out rates. The students opting for the Skill Education course will receive certificates on passing the course in the board examination which will be very useful in their job search. Examinations will be held in both theory and practical mode with proper distribution of marks. CBSE offers nine skill subjects at the Middle school level, 18 skill subjects at the Secondary school level, and 38 skill subjects at the Senior Secondary school level to make the younger generation more proficient in skills. The NEP 2020 holds the vision that by 2025, 50% of school-level students would be exposed to vocational training. Recent reports say that more than 20 Lakh students are receiving skill training in more than 12000 CBSE schools.
Some of the skill development subjects offered by CBSE schools are in Information Technology, Coding, Data Science, Handicrafts, Design Thinking ( VI-VIII), Banking Insurance, Healthcare, Beauty and Wellness, Artificial Intelligence ( IX-X) and Horticulture, Food Production, Electrical Technology, Electronic Technology ( XI-XII). Recently, a Junior Skills Championship 2021 was launched wherein students from classes 6-12 could participate. It was organized online and the incentives were prizes. It was a great move on behalf of the board as that greatly enhanced the interest of students in skill education.
The inclusion of Skill Education from a very early stage can prove to be a boon in disguise for the nation and help in its economic growth. While the skill subjects will train students to deal with real-life situations, the traditional system will teach them to become complete human beings.