'Community colleges can serve both workforce and GER issues'

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 10:42 hrs

New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said community colleges can play a significant role not only in addressing the shortage of skilled workforce, but also in increasing gross enrolment ratio.

Speaking at function here that saw Wadhwani Foundation (WF) and Virginia Foundation for Community College Education of (VFCCE) forging ties to upgrade skill training in India, Sibal said there was a greater scope to collaborate in area of skill development for both India and US.

"You (US) have a skilled force but job is diminishing. We (India) have job opportunities but no skilled workforce. So in this sector, there is a huge opportunity to collaborate and community colleges will work like centres of skill development," he said.

Similarly, the Minister said, community colleges can play a big role in increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the country.

The HRD Ministry is eyeing to double the GER to 30 per cent from the present 15 per cent by 2020. The move aims to triple enrolments in the tertiary sector from around 13 million to 40 million.

Speaking about the tie-up with VFCCE, President and CEO of WF Ajay Kela said the aim through the partnership is to build a world-class capacity for three million seats in higher education linked with market oriented vocation education.

An agreement was signed between Kela and member, VFCCE Gleen DuBois in this regard in the presence of Sibal and US Senator Mark Warner.

Under the agreement, WF and VFCCE will leverage on the combined expertise in running industry relevant programmes, sharing technical know-how, curriculum and teacher training.

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