Anand is from the remote community of Meppadi, Wayanad in Kerala. He has reading and writing disabilities which have discouraged his studies over the years. He has dropped out of many courses, but now he sees a new future.
“This training has improved my reading skills and I am also slowly picking up writing skills. I look forward to class every day and never wish to leave,” he says. “The teaching is clear plus I have the support of my trainers and teammates. Even my family has noticed this change in me.”
Anand’s training is with Amrita-PMKVY, a partnership between Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and the Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Special Project Initiative. The purpose is to give students from underserved communities access to state-of-the-art skill training in critical, industry-relevant areas.
In the next year, Amrita is opening twelve PMKVY training centers across five states–Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They will train more than 1000 students with a focus on empowering working-age youth from 18 to 35-years-old.
Towards the objective of establishing a culture of gender equality and equal opportunity, Amrita-PMKVY will reserve 50% of all seats for economically and socially disempowered women.
“Our Amrita-PMKVY centers will enable socially marginalized and economically disadvantaged youth to access skill development that will be free of cost. The methodology that we adopt in providing skill development through technology blended teaching and learning not only improves accessibility, but also raises the standard and quality of vocational education,” said Bhavani Rao, Director of the Amrita-PMKVY Project.
The courses include self-employed tailor, general plumber, automotive service technician, general duty assistant and domestic data entry operator. The project incorporates a unique blended learning approach that includes soft-skills, entrepreneurship, and financial digital literacy training. Assessments, monitoring, certification, and valuation are also part of the program.
“After completing the course, our trainees gain the technical skills required for employment, and also receive life skills that transform them into more socially responsible citizens,” added Rao.
The project’s training methodology is inspired by Amma’s vision for education: “There are two kinds of education: education for living and education for life. While education for living is essential for success in the academic and economic sense, education for life equips young people with the knowledge, skills and values needed to lead an ethical, empowering and socially beneficial life.”
It is with this vision that the training centers are founded upon the promise to touch the lives of India’s youth in a way that equips them with relevant skills for the future. Overall, Amrita-PMKVY shows great promise and strives to fulfill the vision of India’s Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, which is to train and empower India’s youth in the skills they need to succeed.
The on-the-ground strategies also use blended and peer-to-peer learning techniques that emphasize student participation. This helps the young people to identify and address key social issues that plague them from implementing learned skills. The program is designed with a keen focus on user experience, cultural sensitivity and scalability, which adds to sustainable development.
With the goal of developing a training model that can be scaled and replicated, a rigorous monitoring and evaluation plan is integrated into Amrita-PMKVY. Lessons learned, best practices and outcomes will be documented and discussed to promote knowledge sharing. This will also foster communities that support each other in learning, practice and advancement.
Overall, the Amrita-PMKVY Special project shows great promise for India’s future and strives to fulfill the mandate of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, which is to train and empower India’s youth in the skills they need to succeed.