Vocational education presents depressing picture in Kashmir

Bilal Bashir Bhat
SRINAGAR: Vocational Education in today’s highly competitive world is of utmost importance as it is the key source of employment and an effective remedy against the growing evil of unemployment.
In India the need for vocational education was stressed in the Gandhian philosophy of basic education which propounded the principle that education should be work centered. However, today, the youth is solely obsessed with attaining a graduate degree. As a matter of fact, unfortunately many youth of present era tend to underestimate the all important  vocational education and as a direct consequence, we see the rising levels of unemployment on one hand, and a serious shortage of skilled workers in the crucial technical fields like tourism,  plumbing, Typewriting, Desktop publishing etc, on the other.
We need to bear in mind that ideally vocational courses include courses like- Typewriting, Stenography, Secretarial Practices, Architectural Draughtsmanship, Desktop Publishing, Electrical Technician, Plumbing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Hair and Skin care etc.
In the Kashmir Valley the overall picture related to the crucial field of Vocal Education fails to impress. The lack of good number of quality vocational courses in the premier educational institutions of the Kashmir Valley is adding to the unemployment problem of Kashmir. What pains most is the fact that evens the top level universities of Kashmir lack proper vocational courses. The infrastructure related to vocational courses in the educational institutes of valley is also unimpressive.
Experts and students maintain that the Vocational courses have high value for students in terms of getting jobs or setting up an independent business. Vocational education to its advantage consists basically of practical courses through which one gains the all important skills and very required experience directly linked to a career in future. It helps students to be skilled and in turn, offers better employment opportunities. These trainings are parallel to the other conventional courses of study (like B. Sc., M. Sc. Etc.
But as of present times, we in the valley of Kashmir direly lack quality vocational courses. The infrastructure related to vocational courses is also not much impressive. Our policy makers should give special emphasis towards improving the scenario related to vocational courses.
Every sane voice is urging that it is high time that the policy makers of our region recognize the value of vocational education and take steps to revitalize the vocational education training program in our region. (KNB)