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Skill training a must for implementing NEP 2020 in its true spirit

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Is national education policy implemented –Not till Skill training is taken in the true sense

The Indian HEI is seeing a lot of churn not only in terms of concepts like OBE, pedagogy, PO,PSO,CO,PO-CO mapping ,skill enhancement, value added course etc but also in terms of institutions churning themselves from degree granting autonomous colleges to multi-disciplinary universities. Given the fact that we have learned people heading many of the commissions and task forces set up for all of this, a lot of good work in terms of guidelines is on paper.

What happens next is the unique quality of Indian Jugaad that kills the spirit of any revolutionary change which is excellent on paper. Concrete measures needs to be taken to ensure that national education policy 2020 does not become the next victim because it carries the future of 27,513,718 youth . Totally 27,513,718 people would have joined the work force in 2022 but we are not creating so many jobs ( The data is based on the report of the “people’s Commission on Employment and Unemployment’ set up by Desh Bachao Abhiyan and alunched on October 11,2022.the calculations are based on India birthrate 1950-2022 which was accessed from macrotrends.

BVoc courses are meant for students who are good at skilled work and hence want to find employment based on their skill. The purpose of the higher education in this case is to sharpen the skill, unravel the skill or incorporate the skill for enhanced performance of the candidate in the job market. But actually the current pedagogy and evaluation scheme leaves the learner frustrated and makes them feel useful. This, in the long run, will hamper the potential of harnessing the youth power of India for its economic growth.

In this article we look at how for a single subject in B.Voc program in travel and tourism so much work is done in curriculum design but finally though the e subject is designated as skill oriented course ends up evaluating the student on the basis of written examination for 90 marks out 100 allocated to it .Here is a bird’s eye –view preview and analysis of the course Front office Management and selling etiquette which is offered in the second semester of a 6 semester B.Voc course in travel and Tourism.

Course Name- Front office Management and selling etiquette

Part of 6 semester BVoc in travel & Tourism having the following program specific outcomes

PSO-1 Build a skilled professional to meet the needs of the travel and tourism industry at the national and international levels.

PSO-2 Design and market tourism products as per customer need and wants with the help of the latest technological tools.

PSO-3 Understand the emerging global trends and issues in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector.

PSO-4 Evaluate diversity and ethical considerations relevant to the tourism industry

This specific course Front office Management and selling etiquette has the following

Course Outcomes

Co-1 Identify and explain different front office task

Co-2 Demonstrate the check-in procedure followed in the front office in the hotel.

Co-3 Handling the customer queries and solve the problems

Co-4 Maintain a standard of etiquette and hospitable conduct

Co-5 Practice various business etiquette for having a successful business.

The program and course outcomes are good and relevant to one who would like to make a career and in travel and tourism industry. The eligibility criteria to join this program is a pass in plus two or equivalent examination as recognized by UGC. It also allows for exit at the end of each year with appropriate award of credentials. All fine till now….the pedagogy is the main culprit with outdated, convenience based evaluation techniques. This paper on Front office Management and selling etiquette though called as skill oriented course does not have a single practical component and 90 percentage of the marks is based on memorizing concepts and writing them in the examination which are as follows:

The final term end written examination for 80 marks and internal evalution of 20 marks are distributed amongst attendance 5 marks, test paper 1 & 2 carries 5 marks each and assignment 5 marks.

The 80 marks term end examination has 35 questions spanning from 1 mark questions 15 marks with questions like...

What is incentive room rate, What is telephonic etiquette, What is reservation rack,What is guest room change,Discuss the different types of meal plans what is reservation?Explain different modes and sources of room reservation

In a nutshell a student who can read and reproduce these concepts on paper judged over a period of just under 3 hours through written examination is supposed to possess the required outcomes of BVoc travel and tourism student while no attempt has been made to judge if he Will be a good front office person handling an angry guest, a sick guest and inebriated guest simultaneously, Whether he can physically handle a guest room change, Whether his voice is polite enough on the phone.

All the written questions asked can be learnt in his/her employment in a matter of 30-40 minutes or by going through a manual and self learning. why do you name some courses as skill oriented and still expect people memorize things .There are so many upcoming career options in the field of adventure tourism .The following snippets from news media talk about the potential of this sector-

  • As per market research, adventure tourism will rake in 1 lakh crore by 2030

  • The number of people opting to scale Mount Everest and other high peaks in the world instead of sunbathing in Europe is on the rise

  • Trek to Everest 24 lakh -1.28 cr

  • Expedition to see the titanic – 2 cr per head

  • A three way competition between billionaire entrepreneurs Jeff bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson has spurred the development of a nascent astro –tourism industry

May be a student who struggled to answer your 35 questions in the very second semester of his course would have become a tour manager in an adventure tourism company. He was never judged for this flexibility, ruggedness or perseverance I handling tough tour related situation in the entire course. The curriculum did not allow him to get past the first year by branding him/her as a failure .Travel and tourism sector needs to have people with the following skills -

  • Adaptability and flexibility

  • Language skills and cultural sensitivity

  • Business acumen and commercial awareness.

  • Leadership and responsibility

  • Teamwork

  • Enthusiasm and dedication

None of these are judged before the potential skilled employee is graded using a wrong scale and branded as a failure by the HEI, family, society. Is it the student’s mistake. Definitely not. As we answer questions like “ Will ChatGPT and AI replace teachers” it is high time teachers identify their important role in designing and rolling out important curriculum.
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