UNESCO launches 2020 State of the Education Report for India: Vocational Education First

The ‘State of the Education Report for India 2020: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), was launched virtually today by UNESCO New Delhi, with over 400 attendees, including representatives from the government, civil society, academia, partners and youth.

The second edition of the State of Education Report focuses on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). India’s often cited demographic dividend, the aspirations of its youth and the skill requirements of the growing economy – all hinge on a well-functioning TVET system for achieving an inclusive and equitable growth that will propel the country to the next phase of socio-economic development. The Report aims to support the Government of India which has already announced skills development as a key national priority under the Skill India Mission.

With an in-depth analysis of the current state of TVET in India highlighting next practices and recommendations, the Report aims to serve as a reference tool for enhancing and influencing the policies and programs related to skills development in India. It can be used by TVET practitioners, policy makers, private sector and donor agencies for planning future engagements in the TVET sector in India.

India is at an exciting stage today, having made considerable progress towards its goal of creating a skilled workforce of 110 million people by 2022, as stated in the  National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (NPSDE), released in 2015 [NPSDE 2015]. It is presently training 10 million youth annually through the many schemes that are ongoing.

The Report provides an overview of the present capacity for TVET provision through short-term and long-term courses, by state as well as non-state actors, and also through educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities. It discusses previous education policies, and the approach to TVET provision in the light of the priorities of the country as reflected in NEP 2020, as also the priorities that have come with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UN).

Finally, in order to achieve evidence-based results, the Report outlines a set of ten recommendations that should be adopted to help achieve the stated vision for TVET in the country. These include critical recommendations for informal workers who make up the largest portion of India’s workforce. In particular, the Report makes important recommendations towards preserving and promoting India’s vast reserves of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, an activity that can create livelihoods for large numbers of its citizens and also instil a sense of pride and ownership among the youth.

The ten recommendations are: 

  • Place learners and their aspirations at the centre of vocational education and training programmes
  • Create an appropriate ecosystem for teachers, trainers and assessors
  • Focus on upskilling, re-skilling and lifelong learning
  • Ensure inclusive access to TVET for women, differently abled and disadvantaged learners
  • Massively expand the digitalization of vocational education and training
  • Support local communities to generate livelihoods by engaging in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage
  • Align better with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Deploy innovative models of financing TVET
  • Expand evidence-based research for better planning and monitoring
  • Establish a robust coordinating mechanism for inter-ministerial cooperation

The substance of the Report has been developed by an experienced team of researchers from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, under the guidance of UNESCO New Delhi.  The technical and financial partner — American India Foundation (AIF), is a leading not-for-profit organization committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth.

To illustrate the report, the following audio-visual package is available free of copyright:

We also have a collection of free of copyright in action images on TVET and some raw footage from technical and vocational institutes.  Should you wish access to them, kindly contact Rekha Beri (r.beri@unesco.org(link sends e-mail)) or Nitya Agarwal (n.agarwal@unesco.org(link sends e-mail)).

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