Notes on Vocationalisation of Education in India

This continued from Vedic period to Rajput period and remained almost the same during the Muslim period.

During the Mughal Empire, Indian people achieved great progress in technical and vocational field of education. This was a period of luxuries which provided encouragement for production of fine arts, many things of luxury. Carpets, woolen-works, daris, craftworks in stone, metal and so on were produced. The most important profession was production of cotton clothes which were exported to Burma, Malaya, Java and other countries.

During the unchallenged rule of the British in India, poverty engulfed the majority of Indians. It was due to the constant exploitation by the British traders. Indian trades, industries and traditional vocations were destroyed. William Digby a foreign traveler in the beginning of 20th century described that nearly 10 crores of people were not getting sufficient daily food.

Pointing out this tremendous decline in the condition of Indians within a few centuries, Pandit Nehru wrote in his book, "Discovery of India", that "the British destroyed the ancient village Panchayat, educational system, hundreds and thousands of schools, trades and industries of India".

The British rulers were opposed to introduction of technical and vocational education, because it would be detrimental for industry in England.

In 1902, there were only so technical and vocational schools in India. Those were called technical schools only by name. After, Education became a Transferred subject in 1921, technical and vocational subjects were included in curricula of high schools of different provinces.

The Provincial Autonomy came into being in 1937 and only after 1937, expansion of technical, vocational and industrial schools started in the whole of India. By 1947, the year of Independence, only 535 technical and vocational schools were in existence. This was due to extreme love for English style of living, white-collared jobs and hatred for manual work. This attitude towards technical and vocational education got changed in the Independent India.

It was well realized even at the time of the first Indian Education Commission (1882: Hunter Commission) that, “the present system is too academic to be of material help in increasing national wealth". Mudaliar Commission (1952-53) recommended fostering of manual labour and promotion of technical skill for the advancement of industry and technology.

Kothari Commission (1964-66) pointed out that the existing system of education is largely unrealted to life. In order to secure proper development, "Education must be related to productivity".

Humayun Kabir was of opinion that the basis of prosperity of any nation was the Scientific and Vocational education. The examples are U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Germany and Japan. Nearly 100 years ago America was a pretty backward country.

Russia, under the Czarist rule, was not reckoned among the progressive countries, but now decidedly U.S.A. and USSR are the World's Great Powers. Germany and Japan suffered tremendous losses in the World War-II. But soon they have regained on account of rich technical and vocational education.

In 1917, Sadler Commission expressed opinion that a good part of the entire education from primary to University should be vocationalised, specially secondary education should be vocationalised in a large measure. The Secondary Education Commission in their Report (1953) corroborated this concept of vocationalisation of education right at the secondary stage.

The Conceptual Evolution

The Education Commission (1964-66) also recommended hat introduction of work-experience should be given high priority an integral part of general education and vocationalisation of education especially at the secondary level. The Commission ambitiously suggested that the work-experience may be introduced in at least 20% of schools by the end of Fourth Plan and in all the schools by the close of the Fifth Five Year Plan period.

Consequently, vocationalisation of education was to be a| major thrust in educational reform during 5th Plan period. Efforts were made both at the Central and State levels to clarify the concept of work-experience. It helps in forging a link between education and productivity, which is indispensabible for realizing the national goals.

Work experience was regarded as an effective tool of education for relating education to life. At one; place in their 1 Report, the Commission defined work-experience a as "participation in productive work in school, in home, on a farm, in a factory or in any other productive situation".

This work-experience is also very closely related to basic education; in actual practice, the productive work of basic education was restricted to indigenous craft of the village employment pattern. While suggesting the programmes of the different stages, the Commission recommended I that simple hand-work might be introduced in to the lower classes I of primary schools.

At the lower secondary stage, it could take I the form of workshop training and the higher secondary stage, I emphasis on work- experiences on farms, and i in industrial and I commercial establishments. Work-experience, at least from the higher secondary stage should result in someone earning for the student either in cash or kind.

The concept of work-experience developed by the NCERT in all - India Seminar defined this activity as need-based problem solving, forward looking, realistic, productive and manual. It is related to the basic needs of man namely food, shelter, clothing health and recreation.

In another NCERT Si-Seminar on Work-I experience and Vocationalisation of Education (1974) it wan concluded that work-experience is a distinct curricular areas included a body of knowledge and skills with some definite purpose i.e., developing vocational readiness and social skills among the children.

It was also felt that work-experience should be socially useful and productive manual work. The productive part could include production as related to agriculture, industry and service! The programme would include exploration of world of work experimentation with materials, tools, and techniques. Cooperative work and mass production.

Of course, the nature and standard of work will vary according to the capacity of children. In short, the programme of work-experience should be meaningful to the performer, the school and the community. The resources of the Community should be maximally utilized.

The New Pattern envisages branching off from class XI and not from Class IX as is the practice today. Classes XI and XII will have two streams such as the academic stream and vocational stream; the latter making the secondary stage terminal in character for a large majority of high school leavers. If the programme of vocationalisation of secondary education to succeed, the shortcomings of 11 years diversified higher secondary system, diversification starting from class IX will have to be avoided.

The students may be attracted towards vocational courses by making jobs for vocational qualifications in terms of decent pay scales and comfortable service conditions. Variety of courses related to agriculture, industry, trade and commerce and public services should be provided.

The Vocational stream would be provided. The Vocational stream would be terminal in the sense that a large number of students from this stream would be terminal in the sense that a large number of students from this stream would directly enter into the world of work. There should be provision for inter-changeability between the academic and the vocational streams and the courses should have,employment potential.

For Vocational Courses, School Guidance Service would be necessary with Career Masters in Schools. The aptitude and interest of pupils should be taken as major factors for choice of vocations. So provision of educational and vocational guidance is essential in higher secondary schools. The Vocational guidance programme will enable students offering vocational courses to acquire competence of high order such that they can enter the world of work with examples for others.

The Vocational Courses provided in the 11 years higher secondary pattern have one major weakness that vocational content remain weak because the total time available is limited. But in the 10+2 pattern of higher secondary goes for a stable vocational courses. Agricultural Polytechnics at the post-matriculation level, Technical Institutions with higher secondary curricular for vocational education are predominantly terminal in character. School leavers at the secondary stage should be guided for stable vocations in life. An infrastructure should be provided for carrying on planning administration and supervision of the programmes of vocationalisation of education.

The Government of India set up a Committee of Educationists (1977) under the Chairmanship of Ishwarbhai Patel for reviewing the 10+2 years school and the present schemes of studies keeping in view the needs of our society. The Committee in their report envisaged considerable reduction of economic load on the children. It also proposed for increased attention to the new programme of socially useful productive work, social service and co-curricular activities.

Most of the recommendations have been accepted by the State Boards of Education. But various problems stand on the way of implementation of programme of vocationalisation of education.