Sunday, July 18, 2010

CBSE to introduce full-time vocational courses this year

Students bored with the regular Science, Arts and Commerce subjects finally have a wider choice of courses to choose from. The CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) will this year introduce full-fledged vocational courses — equivalent to a Higher Secondary School Certificate —- in Media studies & Film Appreciation, Geo-spatial Practices and Hospitality and Management.To begin with, the Media Studies course will be started in 10 schools in Delhi, 6 in Mumbai and 4 in Pune while the Geo-Spatial course, that will focus mainly on cartograpgy and GIS-based mapping, will be available in 9 schools in Delhi, 3 in Kolkata and 1 in Mumbai.

CBSE has roped in Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods Institute and Rolta India Limited — agreements will be signed on July 19 — to help train teachers and devise curriculum for Mass Media Studies and Geospatial Practices courses respectively. A tie-up with the Union Tourism Ministry is also on cards for a course in Hospitality and Management, with focus on Food and Beverages.Students can opt for a vocational course and skip the regular Science, Arts and Commerce courses if they so wish. Otherwise, they can also take any of these as an add-on to three Science or Arts subjects.

But HRD Ministry does not want to limit the vocational courses to the 10,000 CBSE schools only. It is working on a Rs. 2,000 crore plan to set up 2,500 vocational schools across the country —- at least one Model Vocational School with at least six vocations on offer in every district. Existing schools can also start Vocational Studies Units. Headed by a Deputy Principal or Vice Principal, the unit, complete with a workshop and linkages with local industry, will offer full fledged vocational courses. HRD Ministry will facilitate their tie-ups with industry and institutes. The only glitch in the plan is that Planning Commission views it as rather expensive.

"We will begin with a smaller number of schools this year. Next year the courses will be introduced in more number of schools", an HRD Ministry official said. "Schools are, in fact, showing a lot of interest in vocational courses". CBSE had earlier introduced a vocational course in Financial Markets Management with the help of NSE. Success of the course prompted the board to introduce the new courses.

Source: Indian Express, July 18, 2010

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