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NEP 2020: Must Have Skills Vs Want To Have Skill

The vision to make the youth self-reliant through skill-based education makes the National Education Policy 2020 a revolutionary document.

India is at a point where strong and well defined steps are needed to rejuvenate the nation and chart out its course for the first half of the twenty first century. The Government of India is in the process of bringing about wide ranging and bold reforms in almost all sectors to put India at the very top among the progressive nations of the world. Education has rightly been recognized by the present government as the key sector that can propel the country i2n the right direction. The education sector has seen remarkable developments in the past five years.

The New Education Policy 2020 has proposed some very fundamental changes in our education system. Many educationists have been eagerly waiting for the very changes that this education policy has proposed. The policy envisions the holistic development of youth with emphasis on not only an upsurge in Gross Enrolment Ratio but also on skill development as the determining factor to realise the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat, an ambitious mission of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who always insists upon imparting of skills as a key element of the modern education system.

Our society has to shift its focus from rote learning to creativity and critical thinking. This will encourage decision making through out-of-the-box thinking and use of innovative practices. Such revolutionary features will bring about radical improvement from the age-old learning merely for the sake of obtaining a degree introduced by the colonial masters. There will undoubtedly be a paradigm shift to Research and Development (R&D) and skill development.

With a multi-disciplinary approach the students can choose their need based requirements of courses. Educationists across the country have finally been heard by the policymakers. The futility of producing an army of unemployed youth through a rigorous process of the examination system has been acknowledged. Emulating the skill-based model of education, vocational courses are under the spotlight now in a bid to make the Indian youth skillful, employable and self-reliant. I have long been an advocate for revisiting and improving our country’s approach towards the vocational courses offered by various institutes of higher learning. In fact, the undergraduate vocational courses are pivotal in producing skilled graduates in tune with the constantly changing demands of the industry.

The vision to make the youth self-reliant through skill-based education makes the National Education Policy 2020 a revolutionary document. Our Education Minister has emphasised on every platform that the policy gives additional impetus to vocational education by introducing vocational subjects and training at school level too. This is a remarkable step. The NEP 2020 provides that even the students of middle level shall be exposed to hands-on training in vocational skills like carpentry, plumbing, electrical repairing, horticulture, pottery, embroidery, etc.

The policy has set the target of providing vocational skills to at least 50% students by 2025 in such a way that the vocational skills acquired at school level may be further extended up to higher education level, depending upon the requirement of individual students.

The day is not far when the Indian youth will not be a job-seeker but a potential job-provider through the set of vocational, employable and entrepreneurial skills imparted to them at different stages of education and training. The Government of India has not been emphasising only on skill-based education but also on skill-based employment opportunities. As per my information, the 2018 Skill India Report states that India has a demographic advantage as the average age of its population is estimated to be below 29 years for the next 6 years. By 2022, India will have the largest working-age population in the world. The workforce is growing substantially.

The emphasis on Skill-based school education will help India achieve Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision of ‘ignited young minds’ constantly striving towards perfection.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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