- MoU is aimed at collaboration and program management support for Community colleges and various Skill Development initiatives of Additional Skill Acquisition programme (ASAP), Government of Kerala in order to improve employability of students in Kerala through vocational and other educational training programs
- Wadhwani Foundation to enable widespread adoption of vocational education by leveraging technology such as online training platforms that maintain quality and relevance and are integrated with classroom and workshop training
- Improved employability of the students graduating and reduction in number of dropouts will be measured by enhanced employment of the students leaving college for work
- Over 2700 students are expected to be trained in Community College in the first year under this program
- Collaboration and support is aimed to catalyse Government of India’s broad policies and new initiatives on skill development and entrepreneurship
ASAP, Department of Higher Education (DHE), Government of Kerala (GOK) and the Wadhwani Foundation announced a strategic partnership which aims at improved employability of students in Kerala through vocational and other educational training programs by supporting Additional Skill Acquisition programme and Community Colleges in the State. Authorized signatories included Dr. Reju M.T., CEO, ASAP and Austin Thomas, EVP, Wadhwani Foundation.
Wadhwani Foundation will support the Skill Development initiative of the Department of Higher Education including the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) initiative which is working towards connecting learning and livelihoods in a model that addresses critical issues affecting the quality of life and future of students in both Schools and Higher Education.
Key areas of this collaboration between the Wadhwani Foundation and ASP include successful introduction and integration of skills into higher education for the students enrolled in Community Colleges and ASAP program, assist and advise on curriculum development and assessment guidelines as per National Occupational Standards created by SSCs or local industry and to ensure alignment of the Curriculum as per the Qualification Pack (QP) of the specified Job Role, develop strategies for scaling and sustaining the new courses and build capacity, support in developing Community Skills Park – the unique PPP model Skill Development Center and provide more than 1000 hours of online and e-learning modules developed by Skills Development Network [SDN] of the Wadhwani Foundation.
It is estimated that India will have 25% of the world’s total workforce by about 2025. However, in order to harness the full demographic dividend, India needs an education system which is of high quality, affordable, flexible and relevant to both the individuals and society as a whole.
Commenting on this strategic partnership with Govt. of Kerala, Austin Thomas, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation said, “Wadhwani Foundation’s Skills Develop Network [SDN] is supporting Government’s skilling initiatives by doing program management and providing technical support with an aim to maximize job creation efforts. Foundation also supports Skilling initiatives through multi-media enabled technology solutions for maximising job creation. Despite having immense potential, Kerala urgently needs skilled work force. With this partnership, we have an opportunity to work towards providing skills integrated with secondary & higher education to improve employability of students in Kerala. These vocational and other educational training programs are highly employable and entrepreneurial in nature. The Foundation’s new partnership with Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Kerala will go a long way towards strengthening the business ecosystem of Kerala, ultimately providing a foundation for rebuilding its economy.”
The community colleges aim to mainstream skills into higher education by providing 6 -24 months duration programs, thereby enhancing vertical mobility for students graduating from class XII and aspiring to pursue a degree program SDN helped in drafting a community college scheme with MHRD/UGC and hosted a committee of state education ministers to U.S Community Colleges. This led to a MHRD funded pilot of 200 Community Colleges in 2012-13. UGC has also funded 267 Community Colleges and 127Colleges for B.Voc. SDN is currently supporting 20 community colleges across Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Wadhwani Foundation aims to accelerate India’s economy through five high-impact initiatives, one of which is developing a skilled workforce to meet the demands of economic growth via education. The objective of the Skills Development Network (SDN) is to help overcome skills deficit of India’s mid-level, white-collared, knowledge workers by promoting industry-driven short-cycle education.
Government of Kerala on its own initiative has embarked upon an ambitious project named State Skill Development Project to equip its young population with skills in cutting edge sectors in order to effectively alleviate the unemployment problem in the state. The project combines both preventive (Additional Skill Acquisition Programme – ASAP) and curative approaches (Additional Skill Enhancement Programme). On the preventive side, the General and Higher Education Departments together are implementing the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) to amplify working hands in different sectors of the economy, by providing additional skill sets to students along with their regular courses.
About Wadhwani Foundation:
Wadhwani Foundation’s primary mission is accelerating economic development in emerging economies through large-scale job creation. Five Initiatives driving innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development cater to this mission. The Foundation is present in India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Malaysia, and has plans to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) inspires, educates and supports student entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs for creating high-value jobs.
Skills Development Network (SDN) provides vocational training support to educational and training institutes, and employers for entry-level mid-skill jobs through a video based online platform.
Opportunity Network for Disabled (OND) mainstreams the educated disabled into sustainable high quality corporate jobs through a business value proposition.
Research and Innovation Network (RIN) aims to create a world-class innovation ecosystem in India with the goal of propelling India towards the top ten innovative nations in the world.
Policy Research Centre provides data driven research inputs for informed policy action towards accelerating economic growth. The initiative has also established a chair in U.S-India policy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Photo Caption: MoU between Wadhwani Foundation and Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Kerala in presence of B. Srinivas, IAS, Principal Secretary Higher Education, Govt. of Kerala and Dr. M.T. Reju, IAS, CEO of ASAP