The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has defined ‘demographic dividend’ as the growth potential that results from shifts in a population’s age structure. A study conducted by the UNFPA noted that India has an important window of demographic dividend opportunity from about 2005-06 to 2055-56 with 62.5% of the population falling in the working age group of 15 and 59 years. It is expected that the slice of working age group will rise to 65% (approximately) by 2036. This study also recognised the importance of imparting vocational education (VE) to avail the benefits of the demographic dividend.
The National Education Policy, 2020 (Policy) recognises the seminal role of VE in building the Indian demographic dividend. The Policy observes that less than 5% of the Indian workforce within the age bracket of 19–24 years received formal VE when compared to countries such as the USA (52%), Germany (75%), and South Korea (96%). While identifying the need to hasten the development of vocational skills, the Policy highlights the importance of removing rigid distinctions between vocational and academic streams, and eliminating harmful hierarchies between different areas of learning.
Continue Reading NEP 2020: VOCATIONAL EDUCATION – FUEL FOR THE INDIAN DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND