What is Vocational Education?
In earlier times, the vocational education was provided by the family and the community. There was no formal system of vocational education. Gradually, as industrialization occurred, there was an expansion in the range and diversity of vocational education. It led to the establishment of formal institutions for vocational education.
Defining Vocational Education.
Vocational education can be defined as that form of education that prepares a person for a skilled occupation. Vocational education can be gained from formal as well as informal sources. For example, a mother teaches her children how to stitch clothes. The children can use this skill in future to earn a livelihood. A person can also learn stitching from a formal institution like YWCA. With the growing need for self-employment and to meet social demands, a need was felt for formal institutions that are engaged in providing vocational education.
In other words, vocational education Can be defined as structured educational programs which aim at preparing individuals for a paid employment or for additional qualification in a career requiring other than this a degree. Examples of vocational education are stitching, typing, computer, stenography, beauty culture etc. These programs aim at enabling a person to be self-employed.
Vocational education worldwide is rich and diverse. The students range in age from those who are at school full-time, those emerging into the world of work and those studying for a trade, a profession or to be entrepreneurs, to those seeking, updating or changing careers and those preparing for retirement.
The aims of their studies range from numeracy, language, and survival skills, through competence at work, to professional qualifications at post-graduate level. The content of vocational education is the ‘hidden hand’ behind most aspects of every day life. Everything we do is affected by commerce or industry and behind commerce and industry is a massive chain of vocational competence which is normally based on vocational education.
If we want development of physical resources, we need to develop human resources. Development of physical resources is a means for development of human resources, but the development of human resources is an end in itself. Vocational education helps a great deal in human resource development and is of still greater use for an over-populated country like India.