CBSE is thinking of making vocational subjects compulsory for students to pass the 10th and 12th standard examinations.
Right now 40 optional vocational courses are included in the curriculam. The board on the government's instruction is finalising a strategy to have skill-based professional courses so that those leaving school midway don't depend on the government for jobs.
"India has only 5% skilled workforce. But the need for skilled workers will grow by 2% or more a year over the next five years," a senior CBSE official said. "We want children to pick up real life applications at an early stage so that their skills can be honed over time and developed for the country's better future."
The CBSE is exploring options to start teaching the basics of accountancy and auditing, banking, electrical and automobile technology, IT application, health care sciences, fashion designing from the 6th standard.
At present, these courses start from the 9th standard. "By exploring a student's interest at an early age, the board will determine orientation of students to prepare them to face future challenges in life," the official said.
At present, CBSE offers 40 vocational courses at the senior secondary level and four at the secondary level as optional subjects. Schools have the option of offering a vocational subject as an optional sixth subject, along with the existing five regular subjects at the secondary level.
The other option is to offer a vocational subject as a compulsory sixth subject in the 9th and 10th standards. Most school follow the first option. On completion, CBSE issues a "National Certificate for Work Preparation". This certificate is in addition to the regular Continuos and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) certificate issued to students.