The sixth batch of the workshop “An orientation to skill development and vocational education in India” under the series NSN Catalyse, was conducted on 18th June 2022. It was attended by skill development and vocational education enthusiasts and practitioners from various organizations across the country.
The participants were enthusiastic and eager to discuss the emerging trends in vocational education in India. We also conducted a few activities during the session to make it more engaging and for the final activity, we asked the participants to share a short writeup with their views on a few topics.
Most of the participants responded to the question – How can we improve the rural economy by promoting women entrepreneurs? Suggest top three ways with examples. Let’s look at a few of their responses to get an idea about different perspectives.
Dr. Suprabha Dey, PhD Research Scholar, Department of Educational Studies, Mahatma Gandhi Central University says that we can improve the rural economy by promoting women entrepreneurs through the following ways
- Firstly, we need to provide awareness and training to the rural women so that through formal and informal education, we can induce vocational and skill related competencies in them.
- We can encourage the talent of the rural women who engage in handicrafts unique to their village. These artisans can be given recognition by installing stalls at fairs either in their villages or in cities. This will not only promote rural economy but also preserve the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Indian villages.
- If a drone industry is being set up in the village, women can be trained through TVET to make the various parts of machines or other material resources required in setting up as well as in the functioning of that industry.
“Women entrepreneurs play an important role in economic development” says Ms. Poonam Jha, Assistant Professor, Ranchi University, Jharkhand.
Women require capacity development and training in functional areas such as finance, literacy, marketing, production, and management. In this way, a holistic ecosystem for women entrepreneurs can be developed and there will be no need to migrate. Hence, they will get opportunities to support rural economy.
- Women entrepreneurs can contribute in uplifting rural economy through self-help groups and set up business in manufacturing sectors like lac and glasswork, handloom products, brassware, stone carvings, cane and bamboo products and pottery.
- Women can run business from household like selling packaged food or home-made pickles.
- There is dire need to facilitate hassle free easy loan system with low interest rates for women candidates, so that they are not demotivated for their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Ms. Babita Bharti, Assistant Manager, Agriculture shared her views on improving the rural economy by promoting women entrepreneurs
It is important to understand how the social and cultural standards affect the enterprise and offer women greater and longer-term economic prospects.
Some steps by the government and corporate sector/NGOs may help to empower rural women entrepreneurs in setting up a business:
- Extensive training, good education, investments from financial institutions, and marketing cooperatives contribute to the growth of rural women entrepreneurs in India. Since rural women are associated with highly resource-dependent sectors, e.g., agriculture, women are expected to face more challenges with the changing climate.
- Investing in businesses related to an organization’s primary business boosts women’s empowerment. There could be a women-run greenhouse that produces saplings sold to leading firms or an input shop where farmers can purchase seeds, agri-inputs, etc.
Typically, these firms encourage women’s collaborative action, which can be a critical step toward greater empowerment.
- The adoption of ‘Digital India’ has facilitated the rise of women entrepreneurs in rural cities of India. The increase in social media usage has allowed platforms that encourage networking and knowledge sharing to aid in this trend.
Ms. Koyel Sarkar, Service, Quest Alliance says that there are top five issues in using technology to scale vocational education without compromising quality.
Technology has been booming over the years. As we are speaking right now, there are inventors working on new ideas. Some of the benefits of technology, the issues faced and some of the probable solutions are
- Introducing new technology to the students in the form of an app can become difficult for the students and trainers to figure out the functionality of the app. To resolve this issue, a capacity building workshop could be done for the trainers about the app and the trainers in turn could teach their students at the respective centres.
- As many of the students do not have access to smart phones and network, a mobile phone library could be set at the centres where the students could come and use the mobile phone library.
- We have learnt that a sudden shift from offline to online classes has reduced the participation rate of the students substantially.
- The spectrum of blended learning approach which had evolved during the COVID-19 scenario, could be expanded to a more personalized learning experience where students could learn at their own pace.
- Reward-system always has been a driving force for the students to perform better. A healthy competition could be held through the various G-suite apps to increase participation of students and ensure their productivity as well.
Also Read: Perspectives on skill development and vocational education https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/perspectives-on-skill-development-and-vocational-education/
We’re glad to publish the views of the participants and we hope to continue catalysing new thought and action in skill development and vocational education in the coming sessions of our workshop.