There has been a tremendous focus on vocational education in the five year plans. It has off late caught the fancy of the academicians, policy makers, etc. The Twelfth Five Year Plan has specially laid its emphasis on skill education in its Approach paper.
However, the reality check is that, given a choice between the two options for education: general education and vocational education, the tilt has been more towards general education than vocational and compared to the western countries the participation rate of students in the vocational courses are very less. Due to globalization and the growth of knowledge economy, there is a tough competition everywhere and therefore the only mantra to success is knowledge, skill and training. The focus is more on working skills and expertise in a particular field of one?s own. Hence vocational education and training can prove to be double edged weapon to be used against unemployment problem and also producing skilled technicians and workers for the global market. Vocational Education has been defined as any form of education, the purpose of which is to fit an individual to pursue effectively a recognized profitable employment, whether pursued for wages or otherwise. Earlier vocational education had no formal base and hence it was imparted in such a way that the learner acquired the skill by observation and manually handling things.1
Distance and Open Learning has emerged as a most viable option in higher education sector. In Assam, we have two dual mode Universities, one State Open University and IGNOU, beside some private institutions and “foreign universities” offering off campus education through their study center in the state.
The present paper aims to view the status of the vocational education and training as provided through distance mode by the distance educational Institutes. The paper has its own limitations, as it deals with the vocational education at the tertiary level only. The paper will lay emphasis on the potentialities of such education and training for the youths of Assam and the role that distance education can play to give them a dignified life by equipping them with the required skill.
Cite this article:
Shailendra Kumar Gupta. Vocational Education and Training: The Role of ODL. Asian J. Management 5(1): January–March, 2014 page 62-66.