BHUBANESWAR: Vocational education programme was introduced in 208 secondary schools in the state on Wednesday for the creation of a bigger skilled manpower base and to increase employment potentials of high school students. Students of class IX can opt for any of the four vocational streams, including IT and ITES, retail, travel and tourism, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI).
Introducing the programme at Capital High School here, school and mass education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said, “The programme will reduce drop-out rates in schools as it will increase job prospects of students. We are planning to introduce other streams like nursing and healthcare, beauty and wellness in more schools from the next academic session.
In each school 35 students will have to choose any one of the four subjects as third language. The course will have four levels, concluding in class XII. “The four-year course has been planned keeping an eye on the merger of plus II in school,” said director of higher secondary education Ratnakar Rout.As many as 360 vocational trainers have been appointed to impart vocational training. Each subject will have 200 hours of course, including 120 hours of practicals and 80 hours of theory. The practical examination will be conducted by sector skill councils and the theory exam will be conducted by the Board of Secondary Examination from 2018.
Odisha is the first state to provide text books for vocational education in Odia language while other states are using the books written in English causing immense difficulties to students, Rout added.
The state government has tied up with US-Based Wadhani Foundation for technical support in implementing the scheme. The foundation has provided course curriculum, vocational training providers (VTP) and developed e-content for the subjects.
IT and ITES subject will be taught in all 208 schools, while 34 schools have retail, 95 schools have travel and tourism and 49 schools have BFSI.