Aimed at enhancing the employability of graduates, the Union human resource development ministry will introduce three new professional programmes imparting over 1,000 hours of industry-linked training for students from this academic year onwards.
“We are starting BA (Professional), BSc (Professional) and B Com (Professional) courses from this year where over a 1,000 hours of additional course work will be added during the three years,” HRD minister Prakash Javadekar told HT.
Elaborating on the contents of the courses, Javadekar said there will be 250 hours of soft-skill sessions, sessions on personality development and communication skills, 250 hours of digital information and communication technology and another 500 hours of skill development courses of students choice. “I think students will welcome it,” said Javadekar adding that the courses will be optional.
Javadekar said efforts were also on to reduce “curriculum overload”. “Today curriculum overload is so much so that there is little time left for life-skill education, physical education and experiential learning. The NCERT team has done some work in this regard. They have gone into each chapter and assessed what is required and what is not. And I think, 10 to 15 per cent of the overload would be reduced.It is a scientific exercise, so there shouldn’t be any controversy,” said Javadekar. “The purpose of education is to build a good human being out of the system,” he said.
Asked about the much-awaited National Education Policy, Javadekar said the basic parameters laid down by the NEP committee headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan were : accessibility, affordability, quality, equity and accountability.
The union minister said while the government was open to international tests like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) that evaluates school students scholastic performance in maths, science and reading, he also added that such assessments should have India-specific content.
“Any international test with Indian context is welcome. Our officials are in touch with the PISA officials, let us see what happens,” the minister said.
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