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ITIs empowering local youth

It is time to give the thumbs up to Goa’s industrial training institutes (ITIs) due to their job giving potential to youth and ability for skilling, says Shoma Patnaik

While plans of making the state an education hub are going nowhere, the humble industrial training institutes (ITI’s) that impart practical knowledge to local youth are moving forward steadily.

Check out reveals that, the situation in the ITI’s is much better than expected. More students than before are attracted to the ITI’s, the quality of the students are better and the twin goals of skilling and employment are being achieved quite satisfactorily. To be sure the institutes have several problem areas, but even among industry the opinion is that the shortcomings can be overcome and the institute’s performance strengthened.

Aleixo F Da Costa, director of skill development and entrepreneurship, points out that, the government ITI’s are in fact better than most of the private engineering colleges in the state. “While many local engineering graduates remain jobless because they are found to be unemployable our trainees find employment and get jobs,” he says. According to Da Costa, “In placement and industry linkage the ITI’s are far better than the engineering colleges in the state.”

He adds that, curriculum was once considered a weak point but not anymore. “The curriculum of ITI’s being out-dated is the past story and not the current situation,” continues, Da Costa.

He explains that, all courses are under the national council for vocational training and aligned with the national skill qualification framework (NSQF) in consultation with industry. “There are sector councils for each trade and members of the council are from industry,” he says, adding that, with a revamped curriculum ITI pass-outs are in good demand.

“In hospitality our total output does not even meet 10 per cent of the demand and calls for placement are from leading hotel chains like Trident Mumbai which conducts interview on Skype,” reveals Da Costa.

Recently the Panjim ITI, the oldest in the state, had its induction programme for the new batch of 2018. The programme was encouraging as it revealed that, the institute had 100 per cent placement achieved through tie-ups with industry. The Panjim ITI has internship tie-ups with Hyundai Motors, Maruti, ACGL and Siemens. It is on the verge of a tie-up with a five star hotel for its hospitality course.

As for the other nine government institutes, their track record in placements is not bad either with an average placement of 70 per cent. Sandeep Naik, principal-in-charge, ITI Panjim, says that, Goan students also receive placement offers from companies outside the state. “Our students receive training offers at the Maruti factory, Gurgaon. But they don’t like to leave their home and turn down the offers,” he says.

Goa has 14 ITI’s of which, 10 are government owned and four private. The government institutes are in Sattari, Farmagudi, Pernem, Canacona, Mapusa, Cacora, Bicholim, Margao, Panaji and Vasco. The private institutes are run by Vedanta in in Sanquelim and Panchawadi respectively, the Montfort Institute in Corlim,  Bhumika Technical Institute, Pednem  and the Holy Cross Indo German Techno Center, Siolim.

Between the two categories the state run ITI’s are in better position than the private institutes.

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has a grading system of ITI’s as a mechanism of establishing quality. As per the grading system, institutes are assigned star rating on a scale of 0-5 with scoring based on 43 defined parameters. The composite score of the institute determines the rating and reflects its current performance level. The rating system also enables institutes to find out where they are lacking and can improve.

According to the ministry, the average rating of ITI’s in the state is 2.67 as against the national average of 1.57. Further Panaji and the Vasco ITI’s are the best institutes with an equal score of 3.15 each. The rating of the eight other institutes range between 2.06 and 3.01.

In future , according to Da Costa, the government ITI’s are set to get better. They are being ISO certified and the tender for certification has already been finalized.

Goan ITI’s , especially the government run institutes are doing well but they face several; challenges. Funding is a major constraint due to which the premises are in run-down condition. The institutes need to be upgraded in infrastructure with money pumped in for improving equipment and facilities. “The machinery and equipment needs to be in sync with the latest technology,” concedes Da Costa.

To broaden the placement system the ITI’s are also looking at government departments. An innovative programme is launched wherein students are placed with department such as PWD, the district magistrates office, etc.

The ITIs were once seen as the refuge of school dropouts, but of late the scene has changed, with around 50 per cent of the students admitted to various courses having passed twelfth standard. This has resulted in improvement in grasp of courses and performance standards.

Two students from the state, one from Mapusa ITI and the other from Margao ITI, topped the All India Skill Competition in Computer Operator and Programming Assistant (COPA) and cutting and sewing course respectively, a first of its kind in the state.

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