CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation, which is on an enrollment drive to increase the strength of students in its schools, is moving ahead with the plan to start job-oriented vocational courses for the benefit of high school students.
Express had reported that the Corporation was seeking the support of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to start Skill Development Centre (SDC) to offer short-term vocational degrees for the benefit of children of sanitary workers. Speaking to CE, officials said that the idea had caught on and more corporate companies had tabled proposals to fund the project out of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.
“We are trying to tell students that there are avenues for employment with attractive salary packages, even if they cannot pursue professional degrees,” a senior official said.
“No job is menial. As of now, we are trying to persuade the students to undergo vocational training,” the official added.
Civic body officials pointed out that they observed a pattern in students who discontinue education after completing school. From lack of higher percentage and financial means to familial pressure to seek employment, there are many reasons for students, who could otherwise fulfill their potential and earn a stable income, to discontinue higher education, said officials.
Citing an example, an official said that Ashok Leyland was on the lookout for candidates to fill truck driver positions with a starting salary of `20,000. Officials said that students who would undergo the vocational training could gain employment in reputed companies such as Sutherland, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Hewlett-Packard among others. However, the Corporation is also keeping a close watch on the process of identifying ‘potential dropouts’ from its schools. Officials added that 15 counsellors had been hired to counsel the students identified as ‘potential dropout’ by the headmaster.
“It comes to one counsellor for one zone. Roughly, there will be 20 to 30 schools that fall under the purview of these counsellors and it is mandatory for them to visit at least one school on a daily basis and report to us,” said an official. Officials also said that an Observation Method Protocol (OMP) assessment carried out in 30 Corporation schools revealed that 40 per cent of the students identified as likely to drop out had parental issues.
“Nearly 40 per cent live either with a single parent, or have been abandoned by both parents,” said an official.