VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN THE NEP 2020
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, envisaged for some transformational reforms in the Indian education system. It talks about the education system that lays emphasis on experiential learning along with a focus on 21st-century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, etc. The policy expects that by the year 2020, at least 50% of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education.
PROVISIONS FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN THE NEP 2020
The NEP 2020 addresses the challenges on both the demand and supply sides of vocational education and makes an effort to mitigate it. It discards the theoretical part of vocational training and emphasises teaching only practical aspects. In order to make vocational education more structured, the policy recommends conducting a proper skills gap analysis and mapping of local opportunities to assign vocational courses relevant to a particular area. Alongside this, the NEP also emphasises the credit-based National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), which was introduced in 2013. The framework will help in the assessment of prior learning of the enrolled students, which, in turn, will help in re-integrating the dropouts (from mainstream education) by aligning their practical experiences and appropriate level of the framework .
The National Education Policy also seeks to align vocational occupations with international standards as prescribed by the International Labour Organisation. It also recommends inclusion of industry, NGOs and civil society organisations in implementing the NSQF.
To overcome the situation of social stigma attached to vocationalisation, the NEP recommends:
(i) The integration of vocational education programmes into mainstream education in all educational institutions in a phased manner which “would lead to emphasizing the dignity of labour and importance of various vocations involving Indian arts and artisanship”
(ii) The teaching of vocational courses from class 6, mostly in the form of internships and practical activities, to ensure that every student should at least study one vocational course.
Integration of Vocational Education with Academic Learning and formation of NCIVE
“Vocational education will be integrated into all school and higher education institutions in a phased manner over the next decade. Focus areas for vocational education will be chosen based on skills gap analysis and mapping of local opportunities. MHRD will constitute a National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE), consisting of experts in vocational education and representatives from across Ministries, in collaboration with industry, to oversee this effort.”