Vocational skill has given students wings

Vocational skills is different from academic education. Here we emphasize more on knowledge, skills and attitudes that help students handle practical challenges and work situations. Skills programs emphasize only on hands on skills. However in the vocational courses done in schools we lay emphasis on the practical skills as well as the underlying theoretical knowledge. Our focus is also on the 21st century skills required to be successful in the fast changing work place. These include communication skills, digital and financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

This emphasis on practical’s and learning a skill gives students tremendous confidence to face the real world challenges and earn their livelihood. Here we would like to share the experiences of some of our teachers and students from Maharashtra. LAQSH Job Skills Academy has teachers developing skills of the students in Electrical/Electronic and Banking & Finance skills.
The Vocational training program has given students wings and they are exploring their potential.
For us, nothing speaks more eloquently about the need for these programs for our learners and the impact it can have on their life journeys than their stories. Here are a few of them, in their voices and through the reflection of our passionate teachers. These are a few chosen stories from a rich tapestry of stories we see, in classrooms every day. Every month, we will continue highlighting these stories of inspiration, passion, change and success. After all, its stories like these, that make our work rewarding and real. 

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Ayesha Sheikh: In 2017 I heard about vocational subject which just started in our school, I was in class 8. At that time, I was not interested in getting admission for these vocational subjects. But, one day our subject trainer came to our class and gave general information about our banking sector & finance. I was impressed by this lecture and decided to get admission in next year. I cleared my 8th and got admission in class 9th.

In the beginning, I was scared because this subject was new for me. I did not know if I could understand the entire concept. And second thing was ‘English’, which was my weakness. But I improved in it.

I had not heard about this subject “banking financial services & insurance”. When we started our study, we realized this is very important subject for everyone. Today’s era is an information era. To thrive, with confidence, we must learn about our finance related activities. Activities like role-plays also improve our confidence.

Group Discussion helps to hear the opinion of others as well as to increase our knowledge. In our practical, we fill up forms like account opening form, nomination form, FD and RD forms, RTGS forms, withdrawal slip etc. Also fill demo cheques. This is very helpful for us, when we do real banking transactions. Every month, we meet one banker who provides us information of his job role.

Khaled Chaus :I am from Ardhapur, District, Nanded, India. I’m the second eldest son in my family with 2 elder and 3 younger sisters. We belong to a poor family with BPL ration card. My father decided to educate his family in Zilla Parishad School as we cannot pay heavy fees in private schools. When I reached 9th standard in this school, I meet Zubair sir who was appointed as Electronics & Hardware teacher in my school. I was very excited to take admission to the computer hardware class and told Zubair sir, “please keep my seat in your class.”

He told me that there is a written test exam in English, and he could only select me based on that. I was scared as it was in English language. But I wanted admission in the electronics & hardware class and asked Zubair sir which type of questions were supposed to come in entry exam. They told me general paragraphs and viva were required. I cleared the exam. From 67 students, Zubair sir selected 25 of students for the first batch of 9th standard. It was hard. Till then, we had studied in Urdu language but now we are studying a new subject in English language.

They take guest lectures for us to know the importance of computer and ICT skills and tools, motivated us for practice work and ICT tools and conducted our industry visit to show us how other students were doing their work and learning taking further education.

I decided to become a hardware engineer. During my 10th examination period, my mother died. I was in shock but and decided to quit my studies because of expenses and take up labour work. 

But when I spoke to our computer teacher, he gave me a job as hardware engineer in his one of his friends’ institute. I have scored 64 percentage in my 10th class and have decided to take admission in computer engineering in government polytechnic College Nanded. Thank you all so much  as this was possible only by doing this vocational training course.

Sufiya Sheikh: I am currently studying in government polytechnic College Nanded Maharashtra. But, my journey really started when I joined the electronics vocational course in our school with my friends. From childhood, I felt that I am intelligent and talented but I didn’t find the way to use my skills in the proper way.

The right direction was what I needed and I found in the electronic class of my school. Here, I learnt the basics of electronics, ICT tools, and also how to communicate with people, how to represent our self, how to do self-business and more. I liked the syllabus of this vocational course.

The course helps build not just technical skills but also helps enhance the student personality. This made me more confident and my personality also became more professional like that of successful people. I feel more confident now and feel that I can make my parents and my family happy.

Jeet Haushilal Dhande :A student of L2, Jeet belongs to a family which has not seen much formal education. Despite this, their desire to educate their child is very high. His mother cooks for students at school every day. His parents are very good and very careful about his studies. His parents ask him about his studies every day. He is very intelligent, and I find him quite hardworking. He always asks me, “Sir, how to make my future bright?

He inspires me, not just to teach the subject, but also give instruction regarding discipline, self-management and communication. I find him diligently following my instructions.

Another quality I found in him is that, he is also a good artist. He makes charts for our Electronics Subjects. Today, when I ask him about his career aspirations, he says,” Sir, I will become an engineer for our society”.

 Shakir Shah, Electronics Vocational Teacher from Sadrabadi says  “I consider myself very lucky because our company, Laqsh, and RMSA gave me a golden chance to teach our young generation. The past three years has given me a lot of experience in this field.

This village where I am doing my job is a tribal area where “Korku” people live. Often, we have to do a lot of work directly with parents to bring awareness and ownership through them as students are sometimes continuously absent. By understanding the parents, hearing from them about their childrens’ future and helping them understand about the value of these vocational subjects, we are able to make much more progress.

We follow a  lot of practical approaches such as showing subjective vidoes on LED, preparing charts and making models. The hard work pays off when we see our students learning and enjoying the class and building better future pathways for themselves.