Role of NCERT in Vocational Education
The National Council of Education Research and Training is concerned so far only with the Hr.Secondary Vocationalization programme in formal schools. Its Department of Vocationalization of Education which is in the process of being converted into a Central Institute of Vocational Education is the nodal agency for all aspects relating to curriculum development, staff development, research, evaluation and monitoring and international contacts.
The scope of the Department extends over the entire country but it has only an advisory and guiding role to perform. Having attained sufficient experience and expertise in Hr. Secondary Vocationalization programmes the department is now actively associated with the development of various types of vocational courses for the under-graduate stage of education under the auspices of the University Grants Commission. In relation to the vocational training component under the Ministry of Labour the NCERT is represented on the National Council of Vocational Training which is t he apex decision making and coordinating body for its institutions throughout the country.
In respect of Technical Education Programme, the NCERT is represented in the All India Council of Technical Education, a statutory body to look after technical and management education in the country.
The NCERT is also directly involved with the programme development of the Indira Gandhi National Open University and National Open School through the participation of this author on their appropriate decision making bodies.
Design Development & Materials
The practice component of a vocational course varies
from 50 to 70%. The curricula and instructional materials are also developed by the R&D institutions concerned with each sector. For the higher secondary courses, the NCERT prepares exemplar instructional materials and the states also prepare their own instructional packages. The courses developed by NCERT are based on the analysis of job requirements, and have been grouped under a common title of "Competency Based Curriculum".
Both curricula and instructional materials are developed in workshops in which the employment sector personnel, curriculum experts, subject experts and classroom teachers participate. So far, these materials have been prepared on the basis of annual papers rather than modules or units suited for instruction in a semester system.
The semester system, though accepted in principle for implementation is yet to become a reality in the school sector. However, the NCERT has initiated course organization in the form of flexible module so as to suit the semester system, and also would lead to the development of multi skill competencies to meet the employment requirements in the rural areas.
All instructional materials, both print and non print, though owned by NCERT are freely available for duplication and dissemination by the states. The copyright permission is invariably granted for this purpose. The higher secondary programmes by design are collaborative in nature. The schools offer theoretical instruction and basics in terms of vocational practice which is followed by on the job training or practical training at the actual work site. In the entire teaching-learning process the full time teachers are supported by a large number of part time instructors and guest lecturers drawn from the respective employment sectors. While the above is the suggested modality, many schools still depend on institutional instruction and training in place of collaboration mentioned above, but, the deployment of part time teachers is almost invariably ensured.