Education & Training News

Skill development programs to empower J&K youth


In order to enrich the unique talent of students in sync with their capability, a number of skill based programmes under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 are in offing to empower the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

The NEP-2020 states that by the year 2025, at least 50 percent of the students will have the spotlight of different skill based courses.

“By 2025, at least 50 percent of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education, for which a clear action plan with targets and timelines will be developed,” reads the NEP.

It says that vocational education is in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal and will help students to realize the full potential of India’s demographic dividend. “The number of students in vocational education will be considered while arriving at the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) targets. The development of vocational capacities will go hand-in-hand with the development of ‘academic’ or other capacities.”

Earlier, the skill oriented and skilled based courses were being taught in ITIs and polytechnic colleges only but as per the NEP-2020, the skill based or the vocational education will be imparted in schools and colleges also.

However, in the coming years, vocational education will be integrated in the educational offerings of all secondary schools in a phased manner over the next decade. Towards this, secondary schools will also collaborate with ITIs, polytechnics, local industry, etc. Besides, the Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) will also be allowed to conduct short-term certificate courses in various skills including soft skills.

“Skill labs will also be set up and created in the schools in a hub which will allow other schools to use the facility. Higher education institutions will offer vocational education either on their own or in partnership with industry and NGOs,” says the Ministry of Education.

Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal said some of the skill based courses selected by the Degree colleges include Dairy Farming, Poultry Farming, Apiculture, Commercial Medicinal and Medical Plants, Web Developing, Apiculture Development, Processing of Fruits and Vegetables, Documentary Filmmaking, Retail Management and Computer Hardware and Networking, andSoftware Development.

The idea of the policy is to instill among the learners not only the thought, but also in spirit, intellect, and deeds, as well as to develop knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions that support responsible commitment to human rights, sustainable development and living, and global well-being, thereby reflecting a truly global citizen.

To teach the skill based programmes, a special shorter local teacher education programmes will also be available at Board for IT Education Standards (BITES), District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIETs), or at school complexes themselves for eminent local persons who can be hired to teach at schools or school complexes as ‘master instructors’, for the purpose of promoting local professions, knowledge, and skills, e.g., local art, music, agriculture, business, sports, carpentry, and other vocational crafts.

NEP-2020 says that one of the primary reasons for the small numbers of students receiving vocational education is the fact that vocational education has in the past focused largely on Grades 11–12 and on dropouts in Grade 8 and upwards.

“Moreover, students passing out from Grades 11–12 with vocational subjects often did not have well-defined pathways to continue with their chosen vocations in higher education,” it reads.

It also states that the admission criteria for general higher education were also not designed to provide openings to students who had vocational education qualifications, leaving them at a disadvantage relative to their compatriots from ‘mainstream’ or ‘academic’ education. “This led to a complete lack of vertical mobility for students from the vocational education stream, an issue that has only been addressed recently through the announcement of the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) in 2013.”

Here are some of the skill based courses that have been started by the Degree colleges of Jammu and Kashmir:

Dairy Farming

This course covers animal health and livestock, dairy farming and milking, dairy technology, plant maintenance, dairy products, and services. Eligibility Criteria: The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in Science Stream.

Poultry Farming

The programme is intended to provide basic knowledge and technical skills in the areas of poultry feeding, housing, management and health care. The programme also aims to develop human resources in the area of poultry farming.

Apiculture

Apiculture or Beekeeping is a course wherein the students are being taught about the care and management of honey bees for the production of honey and wax on a commercial scale.

Commercial Medicinal and Medical Plants

The Certificate Course on standardization of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plant Material is a course designed to give hands-on training on quality control and standardization methods used for Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants.

Web Developers

It refers to the coding and programming side of web site production as opposed to the web design side. It encompasses everything from a simple page of HTML text to complex, feature-rich applications designed to be accessed from various Internet-connected devices.

Apiculture Development

Apiculture development course has been developed for all the undergraduate students of B.Sc (Agri.), B.Sc (Hort.), B.Sc (Fort.), B.Sc (Seri.), and B.Sc (Ag. Maco) with practical training in handling of bees, bee appliances, bee products, bee castes, management practices etc.

Processing of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables Processing trade under CTS is one of the popular courses delivered nationwide through a network of ITIs. The course is of one year duration. It mainly consists of Domain area and Core area.

Documentary filmmaking

It is an Intensive and practical Course that equip students with the fundamental skills and focuses on Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production Concepts.

Retail management

Retail Management is the study of promoting and selling products and services while increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. It examines the entire customer journey, from window shopping to entering the store, and buying a product.

Computer hardware and network

The course is designed to provide extensive knowledge and experience in computer hardware and networking. Curriculum includes information and practice activities to prepare them for configuring, monitoring and troubleshooting basic tasks of computer hardware, Operating System (OS), networks.

Some of the themes that students can opt for skill based, skill oriented and skill development courses also includes Software Development, Mobile Phone Technician, Animator, Carpentry, Organic Grower, plumber, Organic Grower, Electrician, Beauty Therapist, Food Processing, Mobile Phone Technician, Sales Executive, Solar Photovoltaic System and Software Development.



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