Technical education is an applied and practical science containing sources derived from human resource development, research and development, human capital- subjective as well as objective, gathered field experiences, and relevant principles drawn from the technical science combined with valuable technology into a body of knowledge, content, and methods focused on the problems of unemployment, skill development and capacity building. It aims at guiding students how to generate better learning skills and technological know-how which will increase division of labour and specialization. In any developing economy there is an increasing emphasis on specialization and the division of labour and surely technical education is a way to achieve both division of labour and specialization which will drive a path to growth and development (Ibn Khaldun as cited by Kalpakian, 2008).
Under technical education adult and young people learn skills by working in association with the Government and the concerned authorities/ trainers thereby providing service and education designed to meet the skill development goals. It helps less skilled people to reach the level of high skill and help them to increase their productivity levels (Y/L), and improve their livelihood and standard of living. Technical education, therefore, not only creates knowledge but increases dissemination of that knowledge which is useful for improving skills of the people. It provides awareness to the people about the improved techniques and practices in a substantial manner which help them in taking right decisions at right time. And that technical education which keeps in view the specific local conditions of the people is better if not best and therefore, must be emphasized by the education department. Like extension education, it should involve the conscious use of information and communication technology to help people form comprehensive opinions and good decisions.
Technical education is heart and soul of every economy because the growth and development of an economy depends on the techniques and skills without which production is not possible. It therefore necessitates active participation at all levels- government, non-government, private, and community and development institutions and aim at allocation and mobilization of resources in such a manner so as to achieve full employment in an economy. It induces skillful transformation among people for improving not only their skills but quality of life as well and achieve development that is sustainable. Following functions characterize the tasks of technical education:
• Skill transmission is technical education driven, implying that skill spreads as and when technical education takes place and thus, skill transmits in multiple directions for development that is all inclusive and therefore, sustainable.
• Resource Organization of is also technical education driven, implying that management and organization of resources takes place when technical education takes place so as to activate and consolidate developmental activities.
• Capacity augmentation is also technical education driven, implying that capacity increases as and when extension education spreads and thus, transferring knowledge and capacity in multiple directions for development that is sustainable. Lucas (1988) assumes that investment in education leads to the creation of human capital which is crucial component as far as growth and development process is concerned. Such a skill and capacity development build human capital which promotes growth and development of an economy.
Now, the question is why there is need for technical education? Technical education seems to be the best method for persuading people to help and train themselves in the development of skills, using their money and resources in such a manner that will maximize their output with the minimum inputs thereby attaining optimization of resources which are necessary in the process of development. No doubt, the notion of technical education is not something new and its advantages and applications are well known to researchers, academicians and representatives working in different disciplines, still the nature, scope and importance of technical education are not well understood by the wider sections of people. Therefore, the purpose of technical education is to make us realize the role of knowledge, skills, human capital and learning in the process growth and development so that we can carry out development work in different sub sectors of development.
Indian economy in general and J&K in particular is underdeveloped economy characterized by low per-capita income, malnutrition, poverty, unequal distribution of income, low growth rates, high growth rate of population, unorganized sectors, underdeveloped market, low capital formation, low social overhead capital (SOC), etc. Here, schemes and development programmes fail not because of a single factor but many interrelated factors-social, economic, political and many more (Qadri & Kasab, 2017). Government fail to impart appropriate skills and training to youth which result in mismatches in the national and international job markets thereby increasing the rate of unemployment in general and educated unemployment in particular. Sound understanding of technical education is required in order to implement better development programmes. Development of technical education will definitely correct the unfavorable characteristics of our economy so as to put it on the path of growth and development that is self- sustaining.
An effective courses in the subject of Technology and technical education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education is a precondition for an easier transition of learners/students to vocational schools or institutes. After the reforms of 1990 and with LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) model of growth, the importance of technical education was realized at large scale which increased the scope or subject matter of technical education. Although seen as the aspect of the long- run stability of the economy, the incorporation of technical education as a coursework at primary schools is very important.
Binish Qadri is Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir & Academic Counsellor, IGNOU STUDY CENTRE 1209, S.P. College, Srinagar.