“Sir, I am very much thankful to you. I got job as a video editor. Its all because of B.Voc. I left engineering diploma and now I am not at all regretting upon my decision ” Hrushikesh Telkar (2015-18 Batch).
“We have started a YouTube channel Punepodcast and we interview Marathi celebrity. We are getting very nice response”. Shubham Kulkarni (2015-18Batch)
“I got selected at Film and Television institute India for a diploma program in Video editing, thanks to B.Voc and all the teachers who has sharpen our technical skills. (Rohan Awaghade 2015-18)
“I work as a video editor for films and short films, thanks to B.Voc”. (Abhishek Deshmukh 2014-17 Batch)
I have assisted a Marathi feature film ‘Farzand’. I am happy to be a vocational student than conventional. (Rachana Shinde 2014-17)
There are many testimonials similar to above mentioned ones. Fergusson College Pune has started two Bachelor of Vocation in Media and Communication and Digital Art and Animation in June 2014. Fergusson College is one of the most famous educational institutes in Maharashtra. This is a more than century old legacy for education in Pune. Hence, B.Voc course got good response in its first year too. Total 50 seats were filled as a first batch. But there was something which was not settled up. This first batch could not get best facilities and proper skill due to lack of infrastructural set up. Fergusson College management took it seriously and in 2015 all things were streamlined including restructuring syllabus development as per NSQF guidelines and Qualification Packs. These `Skill based` vocabulary was very much new for me. It took several days to make it internalized. Being a researcher I spent lot of time to understand it thoroughly.
This type of skill-based course at graduate level is very important to decrease unemployment rate from our country. Many students and parents found B.Voc course so different since their child was not interested to invest their college life in conventional courses without job assurance. There was no course available at Pune University and affiliated colleges at undergraduate level so students and parents were curious about first of its kind Bachelor of Vocation degree at Fergusson College.
Institutional and industry support to B.Voc course at Fergusson College
Skill India is a vision. It`s not so easy to imbibe skills without its infrastructure. Principal Dr R.G Pardeshi, Vice Principal Dr Sachin Khedkar, Course Coordinator Prasanna Deshpande invested special attention to make it real professional course. A multipurpose studio and three editing suits were established for hands on experience. Visiting faculty including Ms Sneha Gore (Anchor at ABP Maza), Prasad Namjoshi(Marathi Film Director), Pankaj Salunkhe (Creative Head), and Vivek Athani (Cinematographer) made the course vocational in real sense. Practical assignments, industry experience, subject experts, flexible teaching learning made this course much more vibrant than any other course on campus. Prasad Shukla who is in charge of B.Voc. Digital Art of Animation is a industry expert with Fine Arts Graduation. This course is also met with industry expectation with full fledged computer lab with Animation 2D and 3D software.
B.Voc students can be easily found out at Fergusson College campus because they do activities all the time than simply classroom teaching. We also tried to make teaching learning more outcomes based. Let`s take example of one subject from the course. Photography assignments are given to explore college campus with cameras. We believe that the child must learn through continuous practice with trial and error until the subject teacher is satisfied with output. Another example is Broadcast Journalism in which BVOC students are supposed to make real news packages the way news channel do on television. Students explore themselves in this course. They try what is best for the and mainly what is not! At the final year of the course students suppose to make short films and journalism projects.
In 2016, Fergusson College received autonomous status. We enjoyed this academic autonomy and included more interesting subjects in the syllabus. Advertising, Radio Programming and Film Appreciation was new subjects added later. Not just skill base training but research projects also done at third year. Students select any media research topic and they do actual primary data collection research. Many interesting research have been done in the department which varies from film studies to media surveys.
Two academic batches have pass out from the department. First batch was naturally experimental than the second one. Now all the batches are enjoying autonomous flexibility and best infrastructure and industry grade equipment. Now the learning is more participatory and project based. UGC give time to time guidelines and we try our best to include it in curricula. As per the latest guidelines provided by UGC and NSQF there will be compulsory internship for all BVOC programmes. Student response is increasing per year and last year we received 530 applications. Students of our programme have applied abroad and some are planning for PhD. I think my students are not just experts in their academic skills but about life skills, I am sure they would become best students, best professional and best human beings of my Nation! That is our real Mission!
Guest Author: Swapnil Kamble, Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Skill Development Centre, Fergusson College, Pune