Home / Education / News /  Centre ropes in NCAER to help expand vocational education in CBSE schools

The Union education ministry has roped in the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) to help expand vocational education in schools, even as the national skill mission lags in this respect.

The economic think tank will help Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools identify constraints, prepare solutions and help expose half of their students to vocational education.

“The new education policy (NEP) talks about integrating mainstream and vocational education. There are challenges at hand and NCAER can help overcome those constraints through a policy road map and field studies. It will be done in two phases," a government official aware of the matter said.

“It will provide appropriate advice to CBSE on research findings to implement NEP 2020 on skilling in schools. The agreement envisages preparation of a report on the status and problems with existing project of skilling in CBSE schools in first phase, and identification of steps and measures to overcome the constraints, and strengthen the positive factors identified in the first phase to make the skilling programmes in CBSE schools more effective in meeting their goals," said another official.

In the days leading up to the first anniversary of NEP, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan had emphasized that mainstream and skill education will need to be seen in tandem, and his ministry was making all efforts to see both wings as complementary. Pradhan is also the minister for skill development and entrepreneurship. “If schools can take up vocational education in a big way, it will not only improve the efficiency level of the future workforce, but also boost the Skill India Mission," the official cited above said.

Skill India Mission under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has fallen short in both training and placement in the past six years. PMKVY trained about 6.59 million people against a target of 7.62 million in the short-term training category, according to official data. Of these, only 5.25 million have been certified and just 2.32 million were placed between 2015 and 10 July 2021.

The placement has fallen way short of the government’s target of placing at least 70% of trained and certified youth. Nearly 45% of those certified and around 35% of those trained were placed, Mint reported on 4 August.

PMKVY started its first edition in 2015-16 and PMKVY 2.0 was administered through 2016-20, and though PMKVY 3.0 was initially launched in late 2020-21, it was later revised to also incorporate 2021-22 in the scheme period.

In fact, CBSE schools have a target to offers skill courses to 50% of the students. “In order to implement skilling in schools in a time-bound manner, various tasks have been identified… including those relating to vocational education with clearly defined timelines and responsibilities of various implementing agencies," the ministry has informed on 26 July.

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