Every man, expect the pampered child of fortune, must have a vacation a trade or a business or a profession order to earn his live hood. There are institutions for imparting various type of specialized training to help men qualify for this. The specialist is in demand everywhere, in the office as well as in factories, and even in educational institutions. There are schools for teaching medicine and engineering, accountancy and telegraphy. There are as many types of institutions for imparting vocational training as there are vocations. A person trained in one of these institutions will find greater scope to show his merits than one untrained. This more than ever to so toady when vacations have ceased to be hereditary, and fathers do not have to hand down their specialized skill to their children.
An untrained man in the modern world even is a menace to society. He is a quack; he knows only the how of things; he has no idea of its why. Hence if there is any trouble anywhere, a breakdown in a machine, or mistake in a ledger, all he can do is to grumble and patch up the trouble anyhow, leading to a more serious untrained worker, or even the intelligent amateur, in these days of specialized work.
In all technically advanced countries, like England or America, only a few are encouraged to go up for general education. The majority of young men have to attend a preparatory school till their eighteenth year or thereabout, and then pass out with a school leaving certificate to join some vocational school. It may be a technical school for learning how to handle machines, or it may be a commercial school for learning the intricacies of bookkeeping. Hence there is no craze for a degree; no premium on university education. It must be some school that makes him a specialist in his small or big way, otherwise one finds oneself handicapped in one’s struggle for earning a decent living.
In our country vocational education is almost unknown; or at least very insignificant arrangements are made for it. The arrangements that exist are inadequate expensive. In most cases for too much tress is laid on theory which is general, and too little on practice which depends on exact knowledge of the situation, In a good system, theory and practice must be combined. To ensure this, along with class work, there must be proper arrangements for ensuring practical training in a factory or a firm. The apprenticeship system which attaches a boy to a firm or a factory has some admirable features. In soviet Russia, technical class is attached to factories and agricultural farms which provide workers with excellent opportunities for improving their knowledge and skill. In our country, we are at the beginning of a period of industrial transformation. New factories and establishments are being started almost daily. It may be worthwhile to explore whether training classes may not be attached to these in order to ensure the adjustment of practice with theory in right proportions.
There is no doubt that vocational training makes a man more competent for his job. As a rule a trained teacher would be more efficient than one untrained. A shop assistant who has learnt the theories of business organization or salesmanship will be all the better for his job. A physician acquires invaluable experience if he puts in several years at a hospital. Commercial organizations will also find in the long run that a trained worker I more economical, although he has to be paid more, because his efficiency ensures a superior quality and a larger outturn of work.
For all these reasons we need an extensive network of all sorts of vacation schools. Today if one has to learn the higher techniques of wireless telegraphy; one must go to Poona; for learning agriculture one has to go to Pusa; for technology, to Bangalore and so on. This is not possible for most of us. Besides, the accommodation in the few institutions that we have got is paltry compared with the needs. The opening of multipurpose schools is a step in the right direction, but it will fail in its objective, if scope for practical training is not simultaneously provided in running concerns and establishments. Since in our country the state is nationalizing heavy industries, a well thought our scheme towards this end may not be very difficult.
The best plan would be to attach training classes to the various industrial organizations. Then theoretical classes can be held in a school or a college and can be supplemented by a course of practical training in these institutions. Certificates granted by these would naturally possess in intrinsic value. The system is already in operation but it has to be greatly extended.