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Despite radical expansion of educational facilities in secondary schooling, a large number of students are not able to take advantage of formal schooling. This is because most of them are working during school hours. "Either they are involved in labouring in the fields in rural areas or in other activities to earn money in urban areas. It is necessary to design, create and establish alternative educational provisions for such prospective learners," says S. S. Jena, chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
According to him, the formal schooling system has been contributing significantly for education of children and youth from primary to pre-degree level, but because of certain rigidities in the system, it is unable to cater to everyone's needs. "The rigidities regarding choice of courses of study, place and pace of learning and the formal schooling system cannot cater to the educational needs of educationally and socially backward people. In such a scenario, the open and distance learning (ODL) mode of education has emerged as a viable complementary alternative and has been in operation in developed, developing countries," says Jena.While 96% of children are channelled to vocational education in South Korea, 70% in Germany, 50% in China and 40% in Denmark, only 5% children opt for vocational education in India. "In India, the bulk of the workforce, around 93%, is in the unorganised sector," says Anshu Vaish, secretary, department of school education and literacy, government of India. Clear gap, it is estimated that about 12.8 million workers enter the labour market every year while the existing capacity to train is only 3.1 million.Segregation of vocational education from general education should now be replaced by vertical and horizontal mobility of students who want to move from vocational to undergraduate education, etc. Vaish adds that the MHRD is in the process of setting up a national vocational educational qualification framework that will provide vertical, horizontal mobility, between vocational, technical and academic streams at more than one entry point with greater flexibility.
Courtesy: Times of India
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