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Role of vocational education in K-12 schools

Vocational education implies skill-based education that prepares individuals to hone themselves as a technician or in multiple numbers of jobs like a trade or a craft or any creative work activity.

In India, the K-12 schools have not been putting their enough focus on delivering employment-based education to the students going to the schools (15-20 years) that could become self-reliant and contribute to the socio-economic development of the Indian community.

India has a leading population count in the world under the age bracket of 15-25 years which presents many opportunities for the younger generation in the education space to explore their winning factor.

Our nation holds a significant place in the global education space. As India has one of a largest system of secondary education organizations in the world, there is still a lot of potential for spiraling up the growth in the education system.

After independence, there have been countless attempts to reform the vocational learning practices that are more applicable. Without recalibrating the curriculum, strong efforts have been made to lead with market-oriented reforms in the vocational education system.

This article proposes the significance of the skill-based education emphasizing on the vocational curriculum in K-12 schools in India.

What is Vocational Education?

The word ‘Vocational’ means ‘work-related’ or ‘job-oriented’. Vocational education directly aims to make the students job ready.<

It emphasizes on preparing the students for a particular profession, vocation, and trade existing in the market. If students are pursuing the vocational education in their K-12 school, it clearly states that those students are learning the basic skills and getting involved into practical activities so that it becomes easy for them to get the job and make a good career in the field of their interest.

Vocational education has minimum involvement in traditional education practices and tries to fulfill the actual market demands.

Vocational education consists of practical learning courses through which the individual gains the skills and experience directly linked to the employment perspective in the future.

It helps students to get skilled enough and in return, offers better employment opportunities. Vocational education is generally offered in 11th and 12th grades.

Need for Vocational Education?

65% of the Indian population is young and that too under the prime working age (15-35 years). Efficient utilization of this population would improve the skill rate in India.

To break from the traditional education practices, there is a huge need for investing in a vocational learning methodology that can generate employment for the younger generation.

  1. Many types of research state that there is a huge drop-out rate in secondary education.

  2. Current educational framework hardly meets the needs of the existing and future industry, prompting a supply-request of skills and expertise.

  3. Due to the lack of formal vocational education, many students do not get any break to get well skilled.

Kothari Commission of India recommended 50% enrollment in the higher secondary platform to the vocational stream as vocational education are treated distinctly in India.


Benefits of Vocational Education:

  1. If any students who get trained for particular trade and profession, then there is a high possibility of getting a good job which can pay him/her a handsome salary.

  2. Vocational Qualification creates better opportunities for the students to start working as early as possible.

  3. It provides an extra edge when a student is out for the job and seeking for a good workplace for his career.

  4. Vocational education helps in improving the rate of employability.

  5. It focuses on bringing up the skills in execution and practices the things that students have learned.

The employability of students coming out of our educational framework is becoming a matter of huge concern. The personal advisory committee of E.Ahamad (Former HRD Minister of India) told him that only 25% of the normal graduates from all the streams have employable skills but hardly eligible to get any job.

It’s necessary to provide vocational education in K-12 schools to make every student enough productive to meet the needs of an hour.

According to a report released in 2008 by the Board of Planning Commission of India (Now known as NITI AYOG, the THINK TANK of Government of India), only 10% of the Indian workforce could enjoy the skill training whereas in Japan 80% and 90% in South Korea.

Currently, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is proposing 40 vocational courses in different sectors at K-12 level (10th -12th) and 4 vocational courses as the major step in the direction of schooling the students with the appropriate skills-set which can enable them to start implementing their education at ground level and deliver the work of their interest.

Shared data and facts are nothing but straight evidence of the growing necessity of a skilled workforce.

Low-skilled and monotonous jobs can get abolished by robots, artificial intelligence technology, and advanced machines. This state of the market is making technical and vocational education organizations to go ahead sustainably and maintain the consistency of meeting the needs of the service market.

School promoters should put their prime focus on educational areas like computers and data, and design thinking to enable the students to become capable of the economic market and make a good career.

4th Industrial Revolution demands vocational education which takes account of skills and activities such as critical thinking, creativity, flexibility, enthusiasm, innovation and many more.

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Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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