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School kids can soon take up internships, gain vocational knowledge with potters, electricians

Ministry of Education instructs states and union territories to start 'bagless period' of vocational education for classes 6-12, in line with new NEP.

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New Delhi: School students in India will be able to take up internships and gain vocational knowledge by engaging with professionals in various fields like pottery making and electrical work, ThePrint has learnt.

The central government last Tuesday instructed all states and union territories to start vocational education for children from classes 6 to 12, in line with the new National Education Policy.

The NEP 2020 talks about including vocational education as part of formal school education. “A concerted national effort will be made to ensure universal access and afford opportunity to all children of the country to obtain quality holistic education — including vocational education — from pre-school to grade 12,” the NEP 2020 document states.

Also read: Preschool for 3-6 yr-olds will be part of formal education from 2021, says Nishank

‘Bagless’ period

The Centre’s letter, accessed by ThePrint, asks states and UTs to give a 10-day “bagless” period to students sometime between classes 6 to 8, during which students should engage in internships and learning vocational skills from professionals. Internship opportunities will also be extended to students from classes 9 to 12, including during the holiday periods.

During the bagless period, students will engage in vocational training with carpenters, gardeners, potters, artists and many others.

“As per para 3.15 of the school bag policy and para 4.26 of NEP, 2020, every student will take a fun course, during grades 6-8, that gives a survey and hands on experience of a sampling of important vocational crafts such as carpentry, electric work, pottery making, gardening, metallic work etc. as decided by the states and local communities and as mapped by the local skilling needs,” the letter sent by the Ministry of Education on 24 November read.

“Similar internship opportunities to learn vocational subjects may be made available to students through grades 6-12, including holiday periods,” it stated.

Keeping in mind the current situation when students are studying online from their homes, the letter also added that the vocational courses could be made available online.

“Bagless days will be encouraged throughout the year for various types of enrichment activities involving arts, quizzes, sports and vocational crafts,” it said.

“It is requested to kindly adopt the relevant suggestions of the School Bag Policy and the NEP 2020 and ensure their implementation in your jurisdiction. The compliance report in this regard may be shared with the department,” the letter stated.

Also read: Shorter classes, fewer students, no public transport — what going back to school will be like


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