Thiruvanathapuram : Putting to rest concerns over implementing the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) from Class 9 in schools, a new model for skill development proposed by the State has been given approval by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), the nodal agency for implementing the NSQF, too has given its nod to the proposal.
The NSQF is a competency-based framework that organizes all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude. It is to be implemented at the school-level, starting from Class 9 and going on till Class 12 (levels 1 to 4).
The framework envisaged providing training in a single course from Class 9 to 12 in various levels. However, there were concerns about Class 9 students being too young to make a decision on the course of their choice. They would not get a certificate after Class 10 either. Practical difficulties in continuing training in the course selected after Class 10 such as change of school or stream were also cited. Yet another objection was that the NSQF would shortchange students into getting ordinary work skills rather than encourage them to pursue higher education.
Under the model submitted by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Kerala on behalf of the State Education Department, instead of specific courses, core skills will be taught to students of Classes 9 and 10 in multisectoral settings so that students develop necessary competencies for whichever sector they opt for later.
“Multisectoral settings are important for students to get an idea of the courses they will take up,” said Rahul R., RMSA Director and convener of the high-power committee for implementing the NSQF. Certificates will be given at the end of Class 10.
In the higher secondary classes, they can opt for the designated levels of the NSQF in the course of their choosing. Certificates will be given at the end of Class 12 too.
A meeting presided over by Minister For Education C. Ravindranath had entrusted the RMSA Director with developing the new model against the backdrop of concerns that students from the State would not be eligible for Union government jobs if the NSQF was not implemented by 2018. However, there were apprehensions from various quarters about implementing it as directed by the NSDA.
This is the first time that a State government’s proposal for skill development has been given the Centre’s approval. “It is a recognition for the excellence and initiative shown by the State on the education front,” Mr. Ravindranath said.
Official communication from the Union Ministry and the NSDA has reached General Education Secretary Usha Titus. The Additional Skill Acquisition Programme Kerala will develop the modules for implementing the core curriculum, said Mr. Rahul.
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