National Education Policy, 1986 In The Implementation Of Vocational Education [NEP 1986]

1. The introduction of systematic, well planned and rigorously implemented programmes of vocational education is crucial in the proposed educational reorganisation. These elements are meant to develop a healthy attitude amongst students towards work and life, to enhance individual employability, to reduce the mismatch between the demand and supply of skilled manpower, and to provide an alternative for those intending to pursue higher education without particular interest or purpose. Efforts will be made to provide children at the higher secondary level with generic vocational courses which cut across several occupational fields and which are not occupation specific.

2. Vocational Education will also be a distinct stream, intended to prepare students for identified occupations spanning several areas of activity. These courses will ordinarily be provided after the secondary stage, but keeping the scheme flexible, they may also be made available after class VIII.

3. Health planning and health service management should optimally interlock with the education and training of appropriate categories of health manpower through health-related vocational courses. Health education at the primary and middle levels will ensure the commitment of the individual to family and community health, and lead to health-related vocational courses at the +2 stage of higher secondary education. Efforts will be made to devise similar vocational courses based on Agriculture, Marketing, Social Services, etc. An emphasis in Vocational education will also be on development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills for entrepreneurship and self-employment.

4. The establishment of vocational courses or institutions will be the responsibility of the Government as well as employers in the public and private sectors; the Government will, however, take special steps to cater to the needs of women, rural and tribal students and the deprived sections of society. Appropriate programmes will also be started for the handicapped.

5. Graduates of vocational courses will be given opportunities, under predetermined conditions, for professional growth, career improvement and lateral entry into courses of general, technical and professional education through appropriate bridge courses.

6. Non-formal, flexible and need-based vocational programmes will also be made available to neoliterates, youth who have completed primary education, school drop-outs, persons engaged in work and unemployed or partially employed persons. Special attention in this regard will be given to women.

7. Tertiary level courses will be organised for the young who graduate from the higher secondary courses of the academic stream and may also require vocational courses.

8. The concept of National System of Education lays the greatest emphasis on elimination of disparities in the educational system and on improvement in the quality of publicly funded schools so that, ordinarily, parents may not feel the need to send their children to private high fee charging institutions. This is a direction towards which we shall have to move with speed and determination. Some steps have already been taken to launch 'Operation Blackboard' to demonstrably improve accommodation and facilities in underprovided primary schools in rural as well as urban areas. Establishment of District Boards of Education, District Institutes of Education and Training, and Village Education Committees will go a long way towards the school improvement programme, involvement of the community with the educational process, and creating a new form of accountability of the educational system. If implemented with sensitivity, vigour and persistence, the proposals contained in the Programme of Action regarding reorientation of the whole system to promote women's equality, special provisions for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other educationally disadvantaged sections, minorities, the physically and mentally handicapped, and for the areas which need special attention will enable the educational system to move towards the democratic and socialist ideals enshrined in the Constitution. These are indeed some of the main parameters of the strategy envisaged in the Programme of Action for making strides towards the Common School System, to which the Education Commission (1964-66) gave so much importance, but which has so far remained only a distant goal.