Vocational courses in Kerala fail to meet industry criteria
For several years now, Kerela has witnessed the mushrooming of institutes offering vocational courses. While they appear to be addressing a very real requirement, the institutes don't measure up to any criterion. They do not follow the guidelines set by government's science and technical education department nor do they offer facilities or expertise that could measure up to the needs of the industry. Most often than not, the degrees or diplomas offered by these institutes have no value in the market.
A student taking a fibre technician's course, for instance, spends roughly Rs 30,000-40,000 for a three months course. In three months, he undergoes around 40 hours of training on how to join a fibre cable. This training requires the student to learn on the machine. Since the cost of acquiring the machine (Rs 5 lakh) is prohibitive, the institutes rent time on machines being used by companies in the field.
Young and unemployed, throng these courses in the hope of landing a well-paid skilled job. They get taken in by advertisements that promise unrealistic salaries and foreign assignments. “Earn Rs 10,00 p.m. in India and Rs 50,000 p.m. abroad” claim most of them. The ground realities, however, are different. An employee of a fibre cable company would get this kind of pay only after 4-5 years of working on the machines.
This is the case with the firefighting course too. The certificates issued are not recognised by the industry. The story repeats itself in other more common disciplines as well. Courses in hotel management lack the facilities and expertise to impart modern management techniques that would be at par with the world's best. Naturally, candidates passing out of these institutes fail to get a sure footing in the industry.
In the resultant chaos, students make use of whatever they have to make their way to other parts of the world. More often than not, the candidates end up doing jobs that are different from the one they trained for or for salaries half of what they could have got had their certificate held any merit.
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