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New initiatives to strengthen vocational education

Vocational Training

NEW DELHI: With the aim to strengthen vocational education curriculum and instructor training in India through industry relevant train-the-trainer curriculum and materials development, Jindal Education Initiatives, Wadhwani Foundation and Montgomery College (MC), USA have entered into a strategic partnership on Friday.

Recognition of India’s need to increase the numbers of educated and skilled young adults to compete in an increasingly globalised, knowledge-based economy is the focus of the MoU. The goal of the collaboration is to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate a technical trade instructor training program and related instructional materials with a view to scale-up nationally.

“Given the complementary objectives and capabilities, the MoU proposes to collaborate on developing a state-of-the-art advanced training program for technical trade instructors comprising curricula that are industry job driven and progressive,” said Naveen Jindal, CMD, JSPL.

Jindal Education Initiatives (JE) will be the implementation partner providing “hard infrastructure” i.e., fully-equipped trade instructor training facility and staffing, while Montgomery College will provide technical expertise using a mutually agreed upon cost recovery model. The Wadhwani Foundation will be the capacity building partner augmenting “soft infrastructure” like curriculum and courseware development, faculty development and enabling technology platform.

It may be recalled that Jindal Education Initiatives had launched Community Colleges across India early this year providing vocational education certificates and diploma programmes in 37 market-demand trades for 5,000 students. The OP Jindal Community College (OPJCC) campuses are located in Angul and Barbil in Orissa, Patratu and Godda in Jharkhand and Punjipathra in Chhattisgarh. OPJCC is registered under the IGNOU Community College Scheme and the certificates and diplomas are recognized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development.

Over the next five years, OPJCC intends to enrol over 100,000 vocational education students.

Jindal Educational Initiatives had also partnered with Montgomery College, Maryland, USA for this purpose. The partnership entailed workforce development curricula in automotive technology, construction management and building trades to lead an initiative to build critical capacity in the community college/technical education sector in India through faculty exchange programmes and development of curricula.

Wadhwani Foundation launched a similar initiative last year called “Wadhwani Skills Colleges” with the goal of creating capacity for industry linked vocational education of three million students over the next decade.

The MoU was signed by Dr Sanjeev Sahni, head, Education Initiatives, JSPL, Dr Derionne Pollard, president, Montgomery College and Dr Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation at a glittering event in Delhi. Also present on the occasion was the First Lady of Maryland, Catherine O’Malley.

Times of India, 2 December 2011


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