Patiala : The health skill development centre, started by the state government under the Punjab skill development mission (PSDM) in November last year and run by the Max Institute of Health Education in the city, has failed to attract students for many courses. Equipped with adequate facilities and nearly 10 staff members, the centre has not been able to start classes for five out of the nine certificate courses it offers, while not more than 30 students have been enrolled in any of the four programmes being run at the institute, that provides free training through smart classes and infrastructure provided under the mission. The duration of a course is three months.
According to rules, youths, aged between 18 and 35, belonging to poor families from urban and rural areas, can undergo training at the centre. Officials said a course is not started till at least 20 students take admission for the course. The centre is currently seeking admission in all courses as the students of four courses have also completed the courses.
Seats for the certificate courses, including basics of emergency medical technician, dietician assistant, diabetes educator, phlebotomy technician and medical sales representative, have been lying vacant for a year.
The institute had a target of training 1,000 students when it began last year, but it has failed to hit the target.
An official, seeking anonymity, said only 70 students were studying in the recently completed courses at the centre. “Not many students come here. Some leave citing lack of interest. Many students, who join the courses, do not turn up to attend classes regularly, he added.
Facilities in the newly constructed building include smart classes, state-of-the-art infrastructure at the institute that covers an area between 20,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft.
Centre head Jang Bahadur Singh said so far a total of 310 students have been enrolled at the institute. “Classes are held in morning and evening. About 70% of students have been placed in various hospitals with good packages and some are self-employed.” He said, “We hold mobilizations camps for admission.”
He said, “We have also sought relaxation of rules as minimum qualification for many courses is senior secondary with science. We can get more students if students with non-science background are allowed to take admission,” he said. However, people are also unaware of the project and the centre and the courses being offered by it.
A former student pointing to motorcycles parked at the institute claimed some students from well-off families are also given admission in courses, but the objective of the mission is to admit youth from poor background only.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.