Government ITI for Women Thane is breaking all the barriers in technical education and training since 1992. The key focus of the institute is to empower the girls through skill-oriented courses which are providing them with a strong foundation and making them future-ready.
To know more about the ITI, their industry-aligned courses and initiatives, we caught up with Ms. Vidya Patil, Principal, Government ITI for Women Thane.
Here are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video interview on our YouTube channel.
Q. Could you tell us about the popular courses and placement in your ITI?
A: Our institute has 17 units and we offer 10 courses in total. Four of the courses are technical and others are non-technical courses. While all our courses are popular among the students, courses like Electrician, Electronics Mechanics, Computer Operator and Programming Assistant (COPA) and Basic Cosmetology have more demand. Apart from these courses, the other courses that we offer are Fashion Design and Technology, Information Communication Technology System Maintenance, Mechanic Medical Electronics, Secretarial Practice (English), Sewing Technology, Interior Design and Decoration. Our courses are focused on building the right foundation and industry-relevant skills. We encourage our students to take up courses that are non-conventional for girls. And we are proud to say that the girls are doing exponentially well in those fields.
From our 17 units, seven units are reserved for tribal girls and we also provide them with hostel facilities. It is quite challenging for the tribal girls to enrol in our courses by coming out of their surroundings. It is equally challenging to retain them in the courses.
Q. How are the students made industry-ready as soon as they complete the courses?
A: To keep the girls engaged and interested, we focus on providing OJT, industry visits and project-based training to these students. These activities help them gain the required skill set and provide them with much-needed industry exposure.
Despite being a Women ITI, our institute has a very low dropout rate. Even after dropping out, our students are able to use the skills they have learned in our ITI to earn their livelihood.
Q. How are you ensuring continuous learning in the present (Post-COVID-19) scenario through e-learning and blended learning? What are some of the challenges and how are you overcoming them?
A: The pandemic has brought many challenges for the entire skilling ecosystem. And for ITIs it was particularly difficult to continue with the skill development and training as our courses are 70% practical based. The theory part was easily covered with online classes through Zoom, Google Meet and other virtual meeting tools. Our trainers did put in extra effort to deliver the practical training to the students through videos and live demo sessions. It was relatively easier to deliver the practical training for computer-based programs.
Q. How did you ensure the upskilling and reskilling of the trainers during this pandemic?
A: We believe that trainers are the key persons when it comes to delivering quality education and training. So, it is crucial for them to stay updated and relevant to the industry needs. To upskill our trainers and to keep them updated, we send them to the industries along with the students. These industry visits help them gain the much-required industry knowledge. We also organize training programs for them on a regular basis.
Q. Please tell us more about the industry participation and contribution to your ITIs.
A: Today, industry participation is extremely crucial for any technical institution. As our ITI comes under the government’s Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) project, it has become easier for us to improve the relevance and efficiency of our skill training courses. We also have a committee, where five members are from various industries. Due to our strong industry connection, we organize lectures by industry experts for students. We also send them for industry visits and OJT. We keep visiting the industrial area near us and also invite the industries for campus placement.
Q. How do you ensure the all-round development of the student?
A: Along with the technical skills, we focus on the holistic development of the students. Every year we organize various activities like sports, yoga, cleaning and plantation for their overall growth. We also encourage them to participate in state-level technical exhibitions and competitions. We provide them with personality development courses to help them express themselves in a much better way. We also prepare them for their interviews by teaching them various interview tactics.
Also read: ITI Bhubaneswar: Paving the way for a bright future through world-class technical training https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/iti-bhubaneswar-paving-the-way-for-a-bright-future-through-world-class-technical-training/
Q. Please share your advice to students about the importance of vocational training and skill development for employability and entrepreneurship.
A: In India, women workforce participation has to increase and the stepping stone for this would be providing the girls with skill-oriented education and training. These courses not only help them build their expertise but also empowers them to break all kinds of barriers in society. And It is a golden time for these students to enhance their skills and build their expertise through the right technical education. The world will belong to them when they are properly skilled and educated. The industry has to come forward and support girls who are taking up non-conventional courses and give them jobs to encourage and support them.