Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in India has tremendous potential to grow exponentially to meet the requirements of skilled manpower for the country’s economy.
However, TVET needs consistent efforts from various stakeholders to explore the potential. To make TVET available to millions of students, we need to overcome certain challenges in terms of infrastructure, penetration of technology, training of trainers among others.
Labtech International is one such organization, which is committed to delivering sustainable, long-lasting, and educationally effective solutions to vocational schools, polytechnics, technical institutes, and universities.
Labtech International is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of technical education (TVET) equipment with a wide presence across the globe. It has designed and produced technology training systems for top educational institutions around the world for the last 30 years. Labtech International also delivers advanced interactive and graphic-rich digital content for technical and vocational education subjects through Labtech Academy.
To learn more, Team NSN interacted with Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Labtech International. Read on to know more and you can also watch the video interview on YouTube, for which the link is given below.
Q: Please tell us more about Labtech and the value it is adding to practical training which is an essential part of any skill-based training program?
A: The headquarter and manufacturing facilities of Labtech International is located at Batam, which is only 15 km from Singapore. We design training systems for vocational schools, polytechnics, technical institutes and universities. Our products cover programs in ICT, electronics, electrical, automotive, HVAC, and mechatronics along with computer aided instruction (CAI), language learning (CALL), and e-learning tools. We provide our solutions in the areas which are mostly job-oriented.
We have aligned ourselves to the needs of the industry as well as the institutions through our close collaboration with both industry and academia. We create our equipment based on the needs of our clients. After creating our solutions, we test them in the institutions to get feedback from the trainers and the actual practitioners. We further improve our models based on the feedback.
We are guided by professional educators from North America, Europe and Asia that have years of experience in the field of international education. We are always evolving our systems and make 20-30% of our system redundant every year.
Q. What are the courses that are offered at the Labtech Academy and how they are different?
A: Labtech Academy is one of the largest virtual TVET content providers in the world. It offers interactive digital content in the area of technical and vocational education subjects. The platform can be leveraged by individual learners, already taking courses at their local institutions. It can also be used for reskilling for a new job or even if you are just curious and want to acquire new knowledge and skills.
We use interactive animations and simulations to make the students understand how things work. We also use physical-based gaming technology. The courses on our platform are designed on a self-paced learning model.
The content on Labtech Academy should be used as supplementary learning which complements a wide range of existing TVET curriculum. So, the platform can also be leveraged by teachers to supplement their existing learning materials for their students.
Once you register and complete your pre-test, you will be able to access the learning materials. In technical and vocational training, we can’t score 80-90 %, either it’s 100% or nothing. So, our learning platform ensures a better understanding of concepts by using learning loops where while giving an assessment for every incorrect answer the platform will redirect the user to the learning part of that particular concept.
We have also started training the trainers through various programs where we teach them how to leverage the platform and other important aspects related to skill development in the TVET space.
Q. How does Labtech International help India strengthen technical and vocational education through its initiatives and equipment?
A: We have a good presence in India in terms of partnerships with academic institutions. We have established unique labs in India in the area of refrigeration and air conditioning. One of the labs is in Karnataka German Technical Training Institute (KGTTI), Mangalore, where we have set up three-level labs – basic, domestic and industrial air conditioning.
We are also working with the Government of Odisha. They are going to establish a new World Skills Centre in Bhubaneswar. We are one of the largest partners for establishing their HVAC lab systems. We are also offering them our digital content for free of cost for their students.
Our solutions are based on hybrid learning models where the students can learn the theory part of their training on our Labtech Academy website and then leverage the facilities in the lab to do the practical.
It is very important to build employable skills in people who either want to become an entrepreneur or an employee in the industry. We are closely working with the MSMEs to prepare the people for the informal sector. We are working with three MSME Technology Centres – Indo German Tool Room (IGTR) in Aurangabad, MSME Technology Centre in Rajasthan and MSME Technology Centre in Sitarganj in Uttarakhand.
In all these training centres we are setting up a world class Autotronics lab. We are also supplying them with some real vehicles which are popular in India. We are making learning applicable to the local industry.
Q. Could you tell us about the response of the students to the courses that you offer?
A: The responses of the students to our unique interactive courses are very good as these courses help the students to build a better understanding of the concepts. Their improvement is visible in the post-test of courses. If we take the example of the course on Cold Room Refrigeration, the average pre-test score stands at 4.54 out of 10. However, after the completion of the course, the average increases to 9.61 in the post-test in the same area.
Labtech Academy is used across 150 countries. We are supplying our technical training equipment to about 80 countries in the world. About 74.3% of students have accessed our courses so far.
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Q. Are the courses on Labtech Academy designed to make students job-ready after the compilation of the course?
A: Our courses are industry-aligned and the certificates are reinforced by the industries. This has added more value to our courses. In South Africa, we are working with Samsung to deliver the courses in HVAC. It is mandatory for applicants in South Africa to have Samsung certificates in those areas for them to apply for a job in the domain.
So, there we have come to an understanding. We are providing training to the teachers there and also doing many online preparatory for the students along with supporting them through various mediums. We are also doing specific programs for them to take them to the next level of understanding and use the learnings on the job.