Vocational courses limiting college options for students

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 04, 2015 22:13 IST

Skill development and vocational training have been touted as the key to empower students from all walks of life but for thousands of students, the move from vocational subjects in schools does not always translate into a budding career.

The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) has been peddling vocational courses as a eparadigm shiftf in education in the country and 29% of the government schools in the city are offering vocational as a separate stream in class 11 and 12. The future of students who opt for these subjects in schools, however, continues to remain uncertain.

The country's most prestigious university, Delhi University only allows students to factor in one recognised vocational subject in their best of four percentage calculation. And this subject should be related to the studentsf chosen field of study.

There are hardly any other options for vocational students and most end up doing diplomas in small-time institutes that fail to give their career a push in the right direction.

Some of the courses that are not recognised by the Delhi University are engineering drawing, IT application, X-Ray technician and tourism and travel (recognized only in the College of Vocational Studies).

"CBSE introduced these courses without understanding the educational milieu at the university level. In a place like DU, where 90% of the courses are core academic in nature, it is difficult to admit a student who has studied the X-Ray technicianfs course or fashion design and clothing construction as their main subjects. What discipline will these students fit into?" said a senior DU official.

At other universities, a similar rule is followed or students are asked to sit for en entrance test. "These tests become very difficult for students to crack because they are often asked questions that they have not studied or are familiar with," the official said. "The problem is that students are forced to take these subjects so that they score good marks and a school's pass percentage rises. But vocational colleges required to support these students are missing. Industrial Training Institutes are not enough,h said another university official who conducts special seminars in schools to tell teachers and students about this problem.

Vocational courses were started with much fanfare by the CBSE in 2007. According to university officials, most students that come to them with this problem are from government schools.

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