BANGALORE: The Education Department has decided to include skill development and training in school curriculum from the current academic year.
The initiative is being taken up under the central government project, National Skills Qualifications Framework. It will help train students in five sectors - automotive, IT, retail, healthcare, beauty and wellness.
The department has chosen 100 government composite pre-university colleges for the first phase of the project, and is likely to add 150 more colleges next year. A meeting was recently held in this regard between Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Rathnakar and department officials. The Centre has allotted `250 crore this year for the project.
Special Officer Purushotham told Express, “If we want our youth to be employable, we need to provide skill-based education. The existing system of education will not help.”
Each school or college can choose only two of the five sectors and can allot 25 students to each. “We have identified trained teachers from the related industries. Though it is optional for the students, once they opt for it they need to study it like a regular subject,” said Purushotham.
The course curriculum has been prepared by industry experts based on the current market demand. “Those who complete the course will get a joint certificate by the Pre University Education Department and Sector Skill Council,” he said.
As this is the first year of the scheme, the department has directed the authorities to dedicate 200 hours for the course in colleges and 300 hours in classes 11 and 12.
The school authorities have been advised to conduct awareness classes about the courses for class 9 students.
However, the head of the school or college must take the parents’ consent before admitting a student to a course. “The students cannot blindly join it. We need to analyse their interest and then admit them,” said Purushotham.
The courses will be continued in the UG programme under the name Bachelor of Vocational Education. Discussions on this are on at the central level. It has also been proposed to extend the programme to private schools and colleges. “It is not free for private schools and discussions are on in this regard,” Purushotham said.