Time runs out for state VHSE faculties to enhance

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If indications are anything to go by, the vocational higher secondary education sector in the state is slipping from bad to worse.
As per the Union government directive, all skill-based courses in the country should follow the National Skills Qualifications Framework (), a competency-based framework developed by the skill development ministry for ascertaining the skill level, knowledge and aptitude of candidates pursuing vocational courses in the country.

The time given by the ministry is set to elapse by December 2018, and the courses that do not follow the NSQF would become invalid in 2019.

However, education minister C Raveendranath had stated in the assembly that the government was planning to revise the curriculum in a phased manner. “Around 25,000 candidates join VHSE courses every year. Over 1,500 teachers work in this segment. How could the government take a decision to introduce NSQF compatible syllabus in around 70 schools only in the next academic year and follow the obsolete courseware in other schools?” asked sources close to the development. There are 389 VHSE schools in the state.

“Even though the government had set up a committee chaired by SCERT curriculum committee chairman RVG Menon, a lobby of officials are hell-bent on implementing their agenda,” they alleged. According to them, this clique was trying to obfuscate things by making false claims regarding the guidelines for developing NSQF compatible courseware for VHSE.

SCERT director said that steps for VHSE curriculum revision should have been taken earlier and now the only option was the partial implementation of NSQF-linked courses. “Anyway, VHSE courses were facing validity issues for some time now,” he said.

VHSE director Farook A said the directorate would press for of the course in all schools, but the responsibility of the revision rested with the SCERT only.

The high-power committee appointed by the did not meet after August 2017. The committee chairman RVG Menon, however, said he would soon submit his recommendations and would be reiterating the need for implementing the changes at one go, in all VHSE schools across the state.

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