The Maharashtra state ministry of higher and technical education has decided to award higher secondary certificates (HSC) to students completing vocational education after Std X. They will also be eligible for admission to undergraduate degree courses.
At present, the HSC certificate is given by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to students who complete the conventional 10 +2 degree courses in arts, science and commerce. The entire aim of drawing equivalence between HSC and certificate vocational courses is to bring these students into the mainstream so that they can pursue conventional degrees such as engineering and medicine, said Rajesh Tope, state minister of higher and technical education.
He said that close to three lakh students who pass vocational courses annually are set to benefit from this decision. The scheme will be implemented from the 2013-14 academic year (AY). The Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), a state board that regulates vocational education in the state, conducts two-year vocational courses through various affiliated institutes in the state. Students who qualify for certificate courses through DVET will receive the +2 HSC degree certificate. A total of 16 such courses are offered by DVET after completion of Std X. Subjects included are electrical maintenance, general civil engineering, carpentry, maintenance and repair of electrical appliances, building maintenance and office management, among others.
“The step has been taken to ensure that vertical mobility is created for these students after they complete their certificate course,” said Tope. “At present, students who undertake vocational education after Std X have limited options and are forced to pursue a career in the vocational segment. But, with an HSC certificate in hand, they can get into engineering, commerce, arts and other such fields. For engineering and medicine, however, they will have to sit for entrance tests like other students.”