Are conventional courses getting obsolete?

Posted on March 29, 2010 in Education

Ranjeet Kumar:

Vocational education is not at all the need of hour. It has already existed before and my going through an experience of such an education system has been quite horrible. It’s not about initiating new courses that are skill based but a subsequent career path that must be designed ahead, which currently does not exist. The other way is to infuse high level of motivation that creates entrepreneurs and not merely job seekers. Government has already initiated many such courses decades ago, but the challenges ahead are more complex. Instead of a separate vocational education, Vocationalization of conventional courses should be pondered up on. Education should be an extension to better life, confident living and should infuse into society responsible citizens rather than paper qualification on certificates.

I was a product of such an educational system and so are my colleagues. We took up a vocational course in Biotechnology. A Biotechnology Graduate (Honors) degree course in 1998, when it was lesser heard of and more in demand, or so as perceived by the common man. Of the batch of 24 students, until today no one has been able to secure a great career and what this course ultimately turned out to be was a stepping stone for higher studies and all of us ended up becoming doctorates. This was also because with a degree in biotechnology one can neither switch to conventional courses in Botany and Zoology. Similarly, so was the case for those who took up the Computer Application course. All of them only ended up studying further.

This was just an example of how fancy terminology can ruin your learning odyssey. Be careful in case you choose such a discipline. I would further add as to why there is a need for a separate vocational education. It means that our traditional courses have no more employability. A new paradigm could be extensively revising the learning modules so that every course has an element of employability and also makes the students enterprising. It does not only create job seekers but a pool of intelligent entrepreneurs who can seek opportunities in the discipline of their education and interest.

Schooling has devastated our learning potential. It’s high time that we get out of the psyche of the number game and initiate a great learning environment where imagination is rewarded, thinking out of the box is given priority, where learning by doing is encouraged. We need leaders who do not breed followers but generate new breed of leaders instead. This requires revolutionary reforms in the existing educational scenario.

My writeup will not make sense if we do not come out of the GIGO “GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT” mode of learning. Let us together initiate a pledge that talent should not be massacred by pressure of education, let genius be born AND thrive in the era of radical changes. Let there be no pressure. We need to have empathy in an era of a rat race. I still believe that there is no dearth of opportunities. An entirely new concept of seeing abundance, possibilities and a better tomorrow has begun by giving the Vedic module importance in the very beginning of educational initiation.

The writer is a research scholar by profession working at CDRI Lucknow, a freelancer and poet by passion.