Director of the Department of Vocational Higher Secondary Education
proposes vocational education as an antidote for
the unemployment problem in the State. He tells Sangeeth Kurian that by
identifying suitable talent for vocational training, the unemployment
crisis can be solved by 50 per cent in the next one or two decades.
Sajith Vijayaraghavan is a man on a mission. Though only 18 months into
his job as the director of the Department of Vocational Higher Secondary
Education, this former director of the Kerala State Science and
Technology Museum has sought to infuse an element of dynamism into the
department with his style of functioning.
Recognition too has come calling; the latest being a national award from
the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for
the best promoter in the field of job-oriented education. In a chat with
proposed vocational education as an antidote for the unemployment problem in the State.
Mr. Vijayaraghavan defines vocational education as one that addresses
career preparation through practical and applied learning. "This means
the students learn through a combination of classroom and experiential
learning or in other words, learning by doing," he said. There are
currently around 27,000 students in 1,000 batches for the 42 courses
offered by the department. Production-cum-Training Centres (PTCs) have
been started in all the VHSE schools in the State where children
manufacture products related to their course of study.
Mr. Vijayaraghavan admits that getting recognition for the VHSE courses
from the Association of Indian Universities was perhaps the toughest
part of his job. "It took me nearly eight months of sustained follow-up
to gain the recognition." Today, a vocational higher secondary course
has gained equivalency with the regular Plus Two course and students who
wish to go for higher education can pursue the career of their choice
anywhere in the country, he says.
The State needs cutting-edge technology and equipment to cope with
technological changes that are taking place elsewhere in the world, the
VHSE director says. "Now our students are at a disadvantage when they go
abroad for a job. This should change," he says.
points out that by identifying suitable talent for
vocational training, the unemployment crisis in the State can be solved
by 50 per cent in the next one or two decades. The teachers should play a
proactive role in spotting the talent at the school level itself.
The VHSE director believes that students should identify their talents instead of leaving the job to their parents.