J&K education dept doles out new schemes to boost employment

To create a new job-intensive educational system in Jammu and Kashmir, which the state desperately needs, the state government has engaged various institutions of national repute to train teachers in elementary education, making its schools Information and Computer Technology and introducing vocational courses for skill development as part of regular curriculum.

Disclosing this, Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said the education department has signed a slew of MoUs with National Institute of Open Schools (NIOS), National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to transform the state’s schools into strategically and operationally effective resources.

As per the MoUs, the NIOS would train around 5000 untrained undergraduate teachers from J&K in 2-year Diploma in Elementary Education through distance mode, while NIELIT co-opted as a knowledge partner under RMSA would make the state’s schools ICT enabled. In the first phase, 220 schools across Jammu Kashmir would be covered under the programme by March 2016.

The ICT involves use of computer based teaching and learning in the schools to prepare the students for the future challenges in the technological advancement.

The NSDC would help state government introduce vocational courses, as part of curriculum, in the schools. In the first phase 132 schools would be covered under this programme, with six schools being included in each district. In the second phase 440 schools including 20 schools from each district are to be covered under the programme.

To begin with the selected schools would introduce vocational courses in IT & ITES, tourism, healthcare and retail sectors as a part of the regular curriculum. The NSDC has agreed to provide logistic support for introducing vocational education in state schools. Apart from helping in recruitment of vocational education teachers, it would also facilitate capacity building of the teachers by providing them adequate training.

Similarly, IGNOU would provide B-Ed training to state government school teachers. In the first phase, 2000 teachers would be deputed to IGNOU for undergoing B-Ed to create a trained human resource in the education department.

The education department has also entered into collaboration with an international NGO, Pratham, to launch activity-based learning programme in the state’s schools.

Pointing out that the education department has decided to declare 2016 as the “Year of Expression” for the students, Akhtar said that it in collaboration with British Council and INTACH is also launching a massive programme of art-based learning in schools.

The new initiatives, he said are aimed at doing away with the academic stagnation in the state educational institutions so that these can churn-out productive assets instead of adding to the numbers of the educated unemployed youth.

“Through various technology-driven interventions being made in the education sector, we want to turn-around the state’s academic scenario, which has become redundant over a period of time in such a way that it encourages young people to create their own job opportunities,” the education minister said. He said there is no longer a safe formula for the kind of education youth should undertake in order to get a job.

“The main obstacle to employment for the youth is lack of preparedness for the unconventional economic environment they find themselves in once they finish their studies,” Akhtar said adding the job market that young people have learned about and knew through their parents doesn’t exist anymore as there has been huge transformation of the same with winds of economic liberalization and globalization sweeping the world.

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