The recent trends in industrialization would no doubt impel a drive towards technology intensive production; it has become imperative that a warehouse of trained personnel be formed. This can be created by introducing a system of vocational education & training which is both market friendly and competitive. For this it is more essential that the diplomas awarded by the institutions ensure the employability of trained manpower. Although institutions play a crucial role in imparting quality education, it is the employers who are the final umpires. This recommends that industry participation in education is an utmost requirement.
It is noticeable that education in our country has been the exclusive preserve of the government with over 75 percent of the educational institutions under its purview. In a developing country like India, it is not possible for the government to provide quality education in a subsidized rate for long run. Therefore, it is appreciable that government has understood the need for the active participation of the private players in the educational domain specially in the professional and vocational courses. And no doubt that the USP of these private entrepreneurs are nothing but active amalgamation of education and industry, where the curriculum will transcend the classrooms and enter into the industry’s periphery.
An interesting statistics in this regard shows that the government has contributed a huge share of income to technical and management institutes. The expenditure on education, at almost touching 5 percent of GDP, is higher than in other developing countries. However, the overwhelming participation of the government in vocational education has been viewed with apprehension. It is realized that such intervention has made the system absolutely bureaucratic. This not only creates stiffness but also prevents the system from keeping pace with the changing market demands.
The reason is that the government does not impose a top-down approach to decision making. The initiative is to have a bottom-up approach where the stakeholders have drawn up a system.
For example in a developed country like Germany, the dual system operates at the level of secondary schools. The programme consists of a sequence of academic terms in school, which are government controlled, dispersed with work terms in industry. During the work term, the student is treated as an employee and gets a financial package commensurate with the job. The trainees in most of the cases are later absorbed by the company in full time employment. The government legislate the training ordinance which regulates company training while the state or the “leaders” draw up the course content at the school level. In this way the system gives adulthood to school education in line with the practical needs of industry.
There are many similarities in both the German and the Indian system. But where as the dual system in Germany has a relatively good track record, the experience in India is not much to write about.
Above all, it is high time that education and industry should be amalgamated; otherwise the futures of both the sectors in our country seem to be bleak.