Vocational Education Towards Sustainable Development Of Tribal Youth

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In present situation the vocational education in India has one of the largest technical manpower in the world. However, compared in the field of skilled manpower our country is far away. Therefore, along with general education vocational education to youth is very much required. The NPE-1986 and revised in 1992 has recognised that development of manpower for economic is only possible when well- planned vocational education will be implemented to enhance employment and reduce mismatch of demand and supply of skilled manpower. Besides, implementation of so many programmes (JRY, IRDP, DWCRA, JRYSEM, KVIC, PMRY and many more) we are still far away especially in north-east regions of the country. Therefore, we must go for compulsory partnership with employers who can involve from training to placement of the trainees, need to revise the existing format system to informal and non-formal system and from supply based to demand based, need to bifurcate vocational education from all levels with market need based, inclusion of multiple skills with local demands, minimise the overall social recognition, need more research in vocational education areas, need to reduce the gap between government initiation to local need and availability and many more; then and then only the goal of sustainable development may be possible which have been highlighted here in this paper.

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Introduction

The term vocation means a career in which one believes to make some skill. Vocational education means education or training which prepares one for some occupation or some specific trade.

In India the need of vocational education came from 1854 suggested by “wood’s Despatch” and subsequently other commissions emphasized vocational education, which reflect in Calcutta University Commission – 1917 as well as of Gandhi’s Basic Education – 1937, Kothari Commission 1964-66 recommended ‘SUPW’ and ‘WE’ – work experience, NPE – 1996, NCF – 2005 etc. emphasised this very much.

Now also our present prime minister declares many programmes such as, “make in India”, ‘Start up India”, “Digital India” and so many which aim is only the development in the country and such programme will only success when vocational skills will be imparted through vocational education. As we know this vocational education is the master key to poverty alleviation and social cohesion and a chance for countries to jump on the development towards globalisation. Always it is a fact that high returns on investment are the proficient skilled labour force. It is seen that maximum urban youth are considered as skilled labourer and represent the backbone of the current economic expansion compare to rural youth and very less from tribal youngsters as figure from NSSO 2008 shows that around 8% and UNO report 2011 shows that 2.8% in India out of which in North-East India it is 12.47% at where majority are the tribal community. But this vocational education and training is always considered as a second class education compared to the mainstream academic branch.

As per the education today, June 2015, the UNO News letter highlighted how vocational education and training has fuelled prompt economic growth in some countries but less in the third world countries. India is prompting to take renewed interest in this branch, still perceived as second class in some part and third class in many regions.

Especially in India it is every politician’s high sound that unemployed youths, hanging out in the streets with little chance of finding a job. While the parents of those youths are being forced to digest the failure/lag with a hope for a better life, but in reality that lead frustration and make them to be anti-social in revolt against the system.

Hence, it is the duty of every government that the solution should be straight forward. Catch those youths before they fall into the cracks (anti social elements) by teaching them skills in different vocations to make them perfect labour in all types of market (local to global). Of course reality is never so simple but which I am trying to explain here is that why vocational education is so dirty and down words now in our society.

Failure of Vocational Education

  • Low link between curriculum and job market

Educationists explain that to the heavy expenses is required to develop curriculum, training staff and for equipment in different specialised subjects which is more costly than the general courses. It also is considered as second class education and in job market it is considered as the low income courses which are against the parents wish. Further, it is also difficult to get expertise in every field of skills. Even some institutions are providing vocational education but there is no guarantee for jobs. It is fact that there are less finance support towards these courses as because the bankers do not like to investment in vocational education rather interested to invest in productive market oriented and heavy demand fields, such as IIT, medical etc. 

But, it can be advocated that with a new vision towards future demand vocational education can be boosted by bankers at different stages i.e. from primary to higher even through adult education programme. For such goal our present government is trying to boost through many programmes but need more strategic plans and POAs from local to global. You just see people from Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar migrated to other countries not only to the silicon valley in USA but also even to the third world countries with skill, semi skill and even non-skill also. So investment in this field is not bad which urges parents, governments, policy makers and educationists to think over it which may give high return.

  • Lack of Proper Policy

Our country, even different states of our country import foreign models in vocational education which is not suitable for us neither in regional nor in national only surplus of white collar expectations. They always tried to set up highly specialised training institutions which are not corresponding to regional or local labour needs (Baumann &Sinha-2001). Nowadays the goal is to make students into changing job market. Even politicians and policy makers are spending lots of public money in their foreign tours in the name of this programme. But what is the result? So if the government move from local to global then the result may be spectacular.

Example in China – in 1980s country pumped its investment in vocational education and now you see its change. Even in our country see the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh before 1980s it depended on other states for every consumable goods but now it is a supply state in essential goods like egg, chicken, mango, orange and many processed foods. Now a large number of youth must move towards skill education rather than general education. It can be seen in Gujarat in cloth making, Punjab in food processing even we can learn from migrated Bangladeshi people how do they learn to survive and next to development. Here the main point is there are no mission mode for vocational education which may be a challenging very much (World Bank-2003).

  •  Prompting Partnerships

Local youths and organizations with private companies like LICs, banks and other big companies which is not seen in north-east part of the country. For such we have to invite them, give them security and profit platform, then we may urge to share their profit for public development. Further from urban institutions to local NGOs for training facility. From government – private – NGOs – Public – business hub – transportation to market and its management a combine workforce is required which may pump vocational education in to high.

  • Prepare proper educational ladder like vocational education in all levels of education stages and researches on small local based vocations (Edward-1984).
  • Finding funds

Always depending on the government is not wise. In all cases we are recommending the government intervention; why? Why not Public? If a person can spend so much for their enjoyment why not from them? Is there any possibility to develop educational policy in this regard?

  • Present education system and its defective curriculum

It is a general practice and necked truth that even after completion of higher education people are unable to compete in job market. Why? Who is responsible? Do the policy makers ask themselves while preparing the policy draft for different levels of education? Is not it our educational curriculum? Do the policy makers frame policy draft for the creamy layers of the society? Therefore, present general education system and its curriculum should be in proper proportion for vocational education from the elementary to the higher level. It is because of the social need which may help to make bridge for demand and supply in job market and balance in between class to mass in society.

Besides many plan of action and programmes vocational education to empower in our country is just an illusion and to weaker section such as tribal people it is just a sound either in verbal or non-verbal. It is because:

  • No new kind of learning included in so called vocational education
  • Faulty action plan and strategies
  • No local approach – always derived from others because of no proper research findings from local problems.
  • Mother tongue dilemma in course transaction as well as course development.
  • No/very less political will except for urban areas
  • Lack of co-ordination among organizations
  • No/Low priority of rural vocational education and many more.

Failure of Vocational Education in North-east India

In northeast India mainly tribal youths are leading with physical and psychological threats in job market because of their low involvement in skill training programmes. Though government initiated several programmes scientifically for youths but far away from reality to reach many due to:

  1. Lack of motivation among local youths (homesick and wants to confine within their own belief, thought and availability with low need).
  2. Cultural barriers by which many youths wants to be in their own locality not to be outside.
  3. Gaps in between resource utilization v.s. surplus creation, like use of land, labour and capital with profit.
  4. Capitalising opportunities v.s. enterprising among locals – traditional economy v.s. non-traditional economy.
  5. Motivation towards job v.s. satisfaction in job among tribal youths is below in index value.
  6. Nature of own competencies v.s. institution information through training.
  7. Orientation of customary practice and habit in different jobs and freedom vs modern autonomy in job.
  8. Women organizations are very strong and are playing a major role in education, health, nutrition only but not in vocational education.
  9. Bamboo and cane goods manufactured mostly for domestic use. Weaving but only in traditional loom, very good consumer of cosmetics and ornaments but depend on others.
  10. Farming like poultry, piggery and cattle can be included in commercialisation because maximum people are non-vegetarian but depend on outside supply.
  11. Local trades both visible and invisible needs to be the part of vocational education, like local cake preparation, art, local medicines, painting, Cotton fabrications in agriculture vocation, Bee farming, Food processing and that to be market oriented, like wise pine apple, banana, ginger and many more but hardly in syllabus at any level.
  12. No social organizations/institutions to provide training to the future generations on their local practice (live fishing, cultivation, weaving etc.). Northeast can be made as the better tourist places in India and can generate employment to local youths. Hence, tourism can be included as one of the area in vocational education but no such provision in curriculum.
  13. Maximum youths want to be in government jobs rather than in other jobs.
  14. Language barrier for proper learning and for acquiring vocational skills.

Suggestions

To be successful in vocational education different approaches can be taken either by the government or by the government organizations those who are formulating policies and plan of action for different level of education, such as:

  1. Revival of age-old institutions in modern ways among each tribe.
  2. Include village head/community head in vocational education programme and include their idea into action.
  3. Set up specific programme for specific ethnic tribal groups through vocational education.
  4. Follow-up of action should be taken after giving vocational education to youths.
  5. Fix up the vocational education objectives, strategy and planning, region and tribe wise not in common especially while we want to set for north-east states.
  6. More emphasis should be given on content, areas, approaches, methods, techniques in vocational education as per local community need.
  7. National as well as indigenous management systems and practices need to be incorporated in vocational education.
  8. Management of youths emotional states of mind towards proper engagement.
  9. Curriculum integration and inclusion for vocational education.
  10. Encouragement of group work.

Conclusion

Taking into consideration the current scenario as regard to vocational education India has one of the largest technical manpower in the world. However, compared in the field of skilled manpower our country is far away. Therefore, along with general education vocational education to youth is very much required. The NPE-1986 and revised in 1992 has recognised that development of manpower for economic is only possible when well- planned vocational education will be implemented to enhance employment and reduce mismatch of demand and supply of skilled manpower. Besides, so many programmes (JRY, IRDP, DWCRA, JRYSEM, KVIC, PMRY and many more) we are still far away. Therefore, we must go for compulsory partnership with employers who can involve from training to placement of the trainees, need to revise the existing format system to informal and non-formal system and from supply based to demand based, need to bifurcate vocational education from all levels with market need based, inclusion of multiple skills with local demands, minimise the overall social recognition, need more research in vocational education areas and need to reduce the gap between government initiation to local need and availability then and then only the goal of sustainable development among tribal youth may be possible. 

16 August 2021

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