There simply aren’t enough seats for students vying for one in Delhi University colleges. In Delhi region alone, the number of students taking Central Board of Secondary Education’s Class XII exam shot up to 2,58,998 in 2013 from 2,05,384 three years ago. The numbers simply don’t add up.
While in NCR alone, 2,24,765 students cleared the boards this year, DU, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Jamia Millia Islamia together manage to cobble up 81,000 undergraduate seats. Experts feel 60% students don’t find a place in the conventional higher education set-up. They would rather do well for themselves via a vocational education course, experts said.
According to former DU vice-chancellor Deepak Pental, the higher education set-up can never absorb all school-leaving students and there is no point pushing them all for a “useless BA and BSc degree”.
“The government is focusing on vocational education and it should be implemented in the right spirit. There will be lots of skill-based jobs which will be created in years to come, for example, in the manufacturing sector. Who will do these jobs if we don’t have skilled resources? These 60% students should go for skill-based education and a two-year intensive skill-based training from Class XI onwards will make sense,” he said.
Stating that all students don’t have academic aptitude and would perform better in vocational areas, principal of Shri Ram College of Commerce P C Jain said, “All students don’t have academic aptitude, but will have other skills. A vocational course is more paying and rewarding. The government has set up a National Skill Development Corporation which also finances such courses.”
But experts have cautioned that unless the mindset that “vocational education is inferior” is changed, matters can’t move forward and there is need for a well-thought out policy. “Despite being more remunerative, many don’t want to opt for vocational courses. A well thought out policy is needed. More polytechnics should be opened,” S M Sajid, officiating VC, Jamia Millia Islamia, said.
The way forward, according to vice-chancellor of Ambedkar University Shyam B Menon, is to make students of vocational education feel rewarded. “One must take a holistic view as everybody can’t afford higher education. In Tamil Nadu, for example, the vocational stream at Class XII level has done very well, which is not the case in Delhi. There are a large number of polytechnics in Delhi. There should be lateral movement to engineering colleges,” he said. (TOI)