The Planning Commission has accepted the suggestion of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to combine the two vocational education schemes â€“ the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF) developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF), led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment â€“ into a composite scheme in a bid to fast-track the governmentâ€s efforts to sharp focus and upscale the vocational education system in the country.
Delivering the valedictory address at the 4th Global Skills Summit, organized by FICCI and the Ministry of Labour and Employment; Dr. Narendra Jhadav, Member, Planning Commission said, â€ٜThe Planning Commission will constitute a sub-committee to combine NVEQF and NVQF and its report will be vetted by the Steering Committee on Education and Skill development for incorporating its recommendation in the full 12th Plan document, which is expected to be ready before March 31, 2011.â€
The accent on education and skill development in the 12th Plan, with special focus on vocational education comes in the wake of the imperative of creating 500 million skilled workers in the country by 2022. Raising the skill sets of such a huge number of people is being accorded the highest priority because of the need to achieve double digit growth and spread the benefits of growth across the country.
The NVEQF scheme aims to create a competency-based qualification framework for vocational education. It has been structured in such a manner that students can move from the formal education to vocational education and vice versa. There would also be recognition of informal (prior) learning acquired working as craftsmen or technicians (through apprenticeship). The HRD Ministry feels that the scheme would provide opportunity to millions of Indians as the programme will be demand driven and people will be able to get jobs where required by the industry.
The National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) seeks to permit individuals to accumulate their knowledge and skills, and convert them through testing and certification into higher diplomas and degrees. NVQF will provide quality assured various learning pathways having standards, comparable with any international qualification framework. NVQF will support lifelong learning, continuous upgradation of skills and knowledge.
Dr. Jhadav sought to dispel industryâ€ݙs perception that the 12th Plan Approach Paper did not give priority to skill development. He said, â€The overall theme of the 12th Plan was faster and more inclusive growth. The Plan would focus on three sectors â€“ education and skill development, health and infrastructure. The first three years of the Plan (2012-15) would be a period of fiscal restraint and consolidation. Therefore, the gross budgetary support from the government for plan schemes was unlikely to be very much higher than in the previous plan period. With this in view, the Plan Approach Paper has prioritized the growth areas so that the three focus sectors receive a proportionately larger increase in the gross budgetary support than other sectors.â€ܝ
He advised FICCI and Ernst & Young to submit the proposed White Paper on Skill development imperatives for the 12th Plan to the Planning Commission without delay as there was still time for the Commission to circulate the recommendation to the Steering Committee which is to meet for the third and final time before October 31, 2011.