Department of Adult
Continuing Education and Extension Bharathidasan University
Thiruchirapally, Tamil Nadu (India)
Department of Adult
Continuing Education and Extension Bharathidasan University,
Thiruchirapally, Tamil Nadu (India)
The majority of population has gone through various formal education courses and completed basic education. Thousands of adult learners enroll themselves to the equivalency courses and gradually upgrade their educational level to higher secondary standard. Separate curriculums and syllabuses have been prepared for each level and text books are also prepared accordingly. The economic dimension includes occupational education, vocational development, employability, entrepreneurship and alleviation of poverty. Vocational education covers the spectrum of occupational areas-from traditional craft s and trades to those occupations based on modern technology. It is the time to study a need assessment for adults in vocational skill of the courses. A large number of programmes involving varying levels of vocational skills can be introduced in continuing education. Skill development and Income Generation Programmes are functional in the sense that these are largely focused on the development of functional knowledge with a view to making learning relevant to living and working. Economic improvement leads towards a better standard of living for the individual, and in turn for the society as a whole. The programmes in Kerala State were eff ectively followed by post literacy programme with the main effect of preventing neo-literates falling into illiteracy and bringing about a desired attitudinal change among them. Continuing education programme was introduced much earlier in Kerala State on its own initiative and prior to the launching of centrally sponsored continuing education programme. They are the providers of programmes for basic education, post-literacy, income generation activities and quality of life improvement. They are the centres of community factions, for upgrading skills and coordinating the services of government departments. They serve as a window or focal point where diverse kinds of continuing education programmes can be taken up for all sections of population. The Continuing Education Centres therefore serve as multipurpose centres with multiple functions to perform. The major objectives of the study were to study the socio-economic profile of equivalency learners, to enquire the needs of equivalency learners on vocation skills, to study the problems faced by equivalency learners who has no vocational skills and to put forth suggestions on new vocational skills for equivalency learners. The study reveals that most of the equivalency learners were female. 62.5% of the equivalency learners included in Other Backward Communities, 18.75% from Schedule Tribes and 12.5% from Schedule Caste. Only 6.25% from Forward Community. 62.5% of the equivalency learners were married. 15% of them were widows and 21.87% of them, not married. Divorcees ae not seen in equivalency learners. Widow learners got some jobs through equivalency courses and got some earnings. Also they could avoid loneliness through studying equivalency courses. The majority of the equivalency learners got vocational trainings during the course. All learners want to include more vocational topics in equivalency text book. The major problems faced by the learners to the low vocational skills were low income, decreased quality of life, non-availability of good jobs, bad performance in the job and dependence on others, etc. The learners suggested to improve the equivalency courses were given vocational trainings during the course, the syllabuses were simplified, scientific and systematic course calendar were provided and were conducted related programmes such as awareness classes and kalolsavam (art fest), etc. According to Preraks, major socio-economic, educational and cultural needs of the equivalency learners were skill up gradation, income generation activities, higher study and getting a certificate, etc. Resource Persons suggested to improve equivalency courses were: given permanent vocational trainings, the syllabuses were simplified, systematic course calendar was provided and give more and more classes and study materials were furnished to the learners.
The analysis of the Continuing education programmes indicates a vast number of centres conducting only equivalency courses. The learners demand new vocational trainings in the equivalency course. The continuing education programme should include most needed modern vocational courses. The programme should be need- based, innovative and it should aim at improving the knowledge, upgrading the skills and bringing a change in the attitude of the people. The approach and strategy adopted should have high degree of participation. A Continuing Education Centre can organize vocational education in close collaboration with government departments and agencies.
Key words: Need – Require something because it is essential or very important, Assessment – A clearly considered opinion or judgement or make a judgement about the value or quality of something, Study – A detailed consideration or investigation of a subject, Vocational – A strong feeling that one ought to pursue a particular career or occupation, Skills – The ability to do something and Equivalency – An alternate education programme that is equivalent to the existing formal system of education.
The learner is the person who studies in the continuing education centre in order to attain literacy or continuing education. S/he is the real beneficiary of the literacy or continuing education programme. Here, the learner means who is undergoing fourth, seventh, tenth and higher secondary equivalency courses conducted by Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority.
SDIGP – Skill Development and Income Generation Programmme
QLIP – Quality of Life Improvement Programme
IIPP – Individual Interest Promotion Programme
CEP – Continuing Education Programme
Prerak – The Literacy and Continuing Education Worker
Kalolsavam – The art fest