Vocational training in the higher education segment is gaining significant momentum through Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) program with over 200 colleges offering the course. To make women employable through skill-based courses, NMKRV College, Bengaluru has recently launched four B.Voc courses in different streams such as Arts, Science and Commerce. We spoke with Dr. Snehalata G. Nadiger, Principal, NMKRV College for Women, to know more about the college’s vocational education initiatives and their vision to make skills aspirational. Here we go with the Skill Talk:
With the introduction of B.Voc courses, NMKRV college is going to set a path-breaking trend in offering industry-integrated courses for women. How are you aligning this with your college’s vision?
NMKRV College for Women was started as a Pre-University College in 1971 with just 150 students. It is managed by the Rashtreeya Sikshana Samiti Trust. In 1973, the college bifurcated to form NMKRV Degree College for Women. The vision of the college is to ‘Educate, Enrich and Empower’ students. Since its inception, our college has maintained its mission to educate and enrich the first generation learners to meet the challenges of the growing world. Now, we have more than 2000 students and 150 teachers. At present, we offer 14 Under graduate and 5 Post graduate programmes in various streams.
We currently offer BA, B.Com, B.Sc and BBA courses. As the future of education will be industry-driven, it’s high time we realize the need of offering vocational education courses. Being a college which focuses on the holistic development and employability aspects of women coming from humble backgrounds, we wanted to align our vision with the government’s Skill India Mission. This will help us skill more women in their chosen field and make them employable. Our aim is to sensitize more students through an industry-led educational program like B.Voc.
What are the B.Voc courses that you are planning to offer ? Why did you choose it?
At present, we have decided to offer B.Voc courses in 4 streams namely Audio Visual Production and Film Making; Web Design and Mobile Application Development; Banking, Accounts and Finance and Hospital Management. We have selected these courses because we want to provide vocational education in alignment with our current courses in BA, B.Com, B.Sc and BBA.
The courses which we have selected are industry-relevant. Our primary aim is to impart quality education to our students in this fast changing technological world.B.Voc has 60% practical training and 40% theoretical education. Since, these courses are industry-driven, students are able to find jobs easily as soon as they complete the course.
Skill-based education is becoming more and more important in today’s world. B.Voc is an emerging course in India that aims at providing adequate skills in a particular trade. Unlike traditional degree programs, B.Voc focuses on skills and practical knowledge. Its work-integrated learning curriculum helps students to get a glimpse of the real-work scenario and understand things from an industry perspective.
As the future of work is changing, there is an increasing demand for employable workforce. My advice to students is, “tap the opportunities at the right time. You need to understand the demands of the industry and choose courses wisely. The future of education will be ‘Skill-oriented’ and you should acquire the right skills to become job-providers.”
What are the NSQF levels with which these courses are aligned?
Our B.Voc courses are flexible with multiple entry and exit options. For eg: A student joining the B.Voc degree program can exit with a Diploma certificate in the first year, Advanced Diploma certificate in the second year and Degree certificate in the third year. The NSQF levels for these courses are Level 5,Level 6 and Level 7 for Diploma,Advanced Diploma and Degree respectively.
For eg: In ‘B.Voc in Web Design and Mobile Application Development’ course, Web Developer ,Web Master, Free Lance Designer, Domestic IT Help Desk Assistant – SSC/Q0110, Junior Software Developer and Technical Writer are Level 5.
Software Developer, Engineer Technical Support, Media Developer ,Web Developer and Free lancer are Level 6 and Application Maintenance Engineer ,Software Developer, Security Analyst, UI Developer and Junior Data Associate are Level 7.
Likewise, all the other courses have respective levels based on the job roles.
It is a boon for many of our students who come from humble backgrounds. Due to various reasons like marriage, maternity or family pressure, several students are compelled to drop out of their studies. With the flexible exit option of the B.Voc courses, students will be able to complete their studies and earn a certificate which is valuable. Also, it helps them to find a job easily. We also admit students from outside in any year of the program based on their qualification. This creates an aspirational learning path for them.
Can you tell us about NMKRV’s industry partnership in offering B.Voc courses?
We partner with NSDC affiliated partners like Capstone Consulting, Rooman Technologies Pvt Ltd, Apollo Med skills etc. Our other industry partners include Drusti Media, DHS Informatics, E-Palmleaf ITES, Trinity Hospitals etc.
Our partnership with these industries helps our students to gain more practical knowledge through internships and hands-on training. Also, I believe, a strong collaboration between academic institutions and industry will augur well for the changing educational system and produce employable workforce.
How are you creating awareness in students and parents regarding the importance of vocational education?
As I said earlier, many of our students are first generation learners. It is very crucial for these students to get a job as soon as they finish their course. In the present scenario, where most of the graduates are unemployed irrespective of their qualifications, it is very essential for many students to become employable. B.Voc focuses on the practical skills of the students. It equips them in learning a specialized skill as well as makes them employable through the industry internships.
We organize workshops for students and parents where they can directly interact with the industry people. These workshops help them to understand the advantages of opting a B.Voc degree over a traditional degree. Also, it is very essential to give counselling to parents and students regarding the advantages of work-integrated learning in the 21st century. We have plans to reach out to aspiring students who want to build a career of their choice.