Three skill-development colleges to open in Maharashtra’s Nanded, Wardha
In a first, the state government has approved three degree colleges, two in Nanded and one in Wardha, that will exclusively offer job-oriented courses.
Students can pursue a number of courses such as BSc (finance), BA (administrative services) and BCom (banking).
The institutes, which are part of a newly created category of skill-development colleges, are among the 111 new colleges approved by the government to be set up from the academic year 2019-20.
However, the Maharashtra State Commission for Higher Education and Development (MAHED), a government body chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had provided for 86 slots for skill-development colleges, including eight in the region under the purview of University of Mumbai (MU).
The government has been pushing the state universities to include in their offerings programmes and institutes which provide vocational education to students according to the local requirements and make them more employable.
Last year, as part of the drive, the universities conducted surveys among students, teachers, industries and other stakeholders to determine what type of courses and colleges are required in different parts of the state.
The results of the surveys were incorporated in the universities’ perspective plans, which propose new colleges and courses in the varsity’s respective geographical areas.
Lack of skilled teachers in the state is the primary reason for the limited colleges in the new category.
“While the government has good intentions and experts are providing inputs, teachers are not ready for this kind of programmes. The universities are required to undertake capacity- building exercise to train teachers, who often resist any change in their work. It’s a catch-22 situation,” said a member of the MU management council, who consulted the universities in drafting the plans.
HT had earlier reported that MU did not receive a single application for skill-development colleges for the current cycle of approvals although the university, in its perspective plan, had provided eights slots for such colleges.
Zaheer Kazi, president, Anjuman-i-Islam, an educational organisation which runs several colleges in the city, said the government needs to have a better plan in place for the new institutes.
“Ideally, skill-development courses should be introduced in professional colleges which have the expertise. The availability of skilled instructors for these programmes is an issue. The initiative will take a longer time to materialise,” Kazi said.
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