Jammu and Kashmir Government Takes Steps to Expand Vocational Education
Srinagar, February 08 (PK): The Jammu and Kashmir government has taken a significant step towards providing industry exposure to the students of government schools. The School Education Department has finalized the guidelines for the implementation of the vocational and skill courses program in J&K schools. The program aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and aims to provide hands-on experiences to students on local skills and crafts.
The department has already introduced vocational education for students from classes 9th to 12th in 14 different trades in various government high and higher secondary schools. However, with NEP-2020 emphasizing the expansion of vocationalization, the department has now introduced vocational and skill courses for students from class 6th to 8th as well.
The Ministry of Education has already approved 862 schools with students enrolled in classes 6th to 8th under this program. The Project Directorate of Samagra Shiksha has issued a communication to all the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to make the necessary arrangements for the introduction of the skilled courses in these schools.
According to official documents, schools have to organize student visits to nearby industry units and conduct interactive sessions, lectures, and workshops on different vocational skills. The heads of schools will invite local artisans and craftsmen to provide hands-on experiences and teacher training in these schools.
The CEOs have been asked to initiate these activities immediately and submit a report to the Directorate of Samagra Shiksha by March 31, 2023. The funds for the implementation of the program have been released by the directorate in January this year. The Samagra Directorate has also finalized guidelines for exposure visits for the students.
The guidelines state that schools should identify and invite local artisans, craftsmen, and skilled people for demonstrations and interactions with students. A minimum of three demonstrations and interactions should be conducted in each approved school during one academic year. The resource person (artisan and craftsman) will be paid an honorarium of Rs. 1000 per session.
A minimum of three exposure visits for students to nearby industries or units will also be conducted. Each approved school will be earmarked a total amount of Rs. 9000 for conducting these visits, at a cost of Rs. 3000 per visit during the current academic year. The concerned schools have been asked to submit an action taken report to the directorate of Samagra Shiksha.
Vocational Coordinators will coordinate with the districts for the smooth conduct of these activities and will collect the action taken reports from schools for onward submission to the Samagra directorate. The Jammu and Kashmir government’s initiative to provide industry exposure and hands-on experiences to students will go a long way in creating a well-rounded and skilled workforce for the future.