The term planning implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of detail. Any Project that needs to be executed has to be planned. Any tasks that was begun without proper planning and due diligence is almost always a failure. Project Planning for this project involved 4 important phases.
2.1 Project Scope
The questions to be answered during this phase are:
a) How many districts to be selected?
b) How many schools need to be covered?
c) How many and which sectors / trades?
d) How many students per class per sector / trade?
e) What is the amount of funding available for the project?
This planning will help to decide the scope of the project and there should be rationale in deciding each of the components The selection of the districts was based on the industry index. The districts which had maximum industry index rating were selected and different industries in those districts were also identified.
2.2 Project Resources
The Key resources to be planned for are:
a) Funding: Under the Scheme, there is availability of central funding (75%, 90%, 100% for specified activities) for recurring, non-recurring expenditure under various components is released to the State Government and the matching share (10%, 75% as provided under the project) is to be met by the State Government. The funding pattern may be subject to revision on approval from the Executive Council and in consultation with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, and Government of India.
b) Implementing agency / department: It is important to have a single implementing agency in charge of overall implementation and monitoring of the project. In the case of State, Directorate of School Education was the implementation agency.
c) Nodal Officer: An empowered senior level officer within the implementing agency / department needs to identified and deputed to be a dedicated official for implementation.
d) Program Management: Wadhwani Foundation, a philanthropic organization seeking to scale skill development in India. Wadhwani Foundation drove Project Management and various coordination and training activities for this program under an MOU with the State.
e) Human Resources: Vocational teachers, vocational coordinators and industry coordinators are the key human resources which need to be planned in detail. The details are provided in a separate chapter. The apart from this master trainers for training vocational teachers need to be identified.
f) Physical Infrastructure: Physical infrastructure would be needed, a) for conducting the training and orientation programs; and b) for office space within the implementing department / agency.
Competency based instructional and learning materials would be made available for the identified vocational courses to the learners, teachers and trainers. Teacher and trainer guides, practical manuals/workbooks, charts, multi¬media packages would be developed on a large scale and would be made available to all the States/UTs for translation, contextualization and implementation. The State/UT Governments may translate the curriculum and courseware in the language used as medium of instruction in their respective schools with the assistance of SCERTS, School Boards etc. PSSCIVE will continue to provide support in the development of exemplar instructional and learning materials. Worksheets Handouts, Kits, etc. would form an integral part of the package to keep the learner active during the learning process. The procedure as detailed out for development of curricula will also apply to development or revision of such materials.
2.3 Project Schedule
A high level plan was developed by the program team with the Project Steering Committee. A detailed project plan has been put in place for each activity with whom, how, when, etc. Program Management Team Update the plan each week based upon progress; note what items on time, what delays and take corrective action. Program team ensures the timely delivery as per plan. The Program Management Team meets monthly or so often to review the project and Change Plan if needed; however keeping the basic parameters and the spirit intact. The Governing Council meets quarterly with the Project Steering committee.
Since the project is to be implemented in a fixed time frame, matter requiring approval on urgent basis are referred to the Principal Secretary School Education, State Government, MHRD, Government of India. Consultative meetings with SSC, NSDC, W.F., and Board of School Educations are also held regularly as per need.
2.4 Quality & Risk Management
Quality Management the act of overseeing all activities and tasks needed to maintain a desired level of excellence. Risk Management depends on supporting organisational factors, clear roles and responsibilities, and technical analysis skills.
2.4.1 Quality Management:
Quality is to be integrated in every aspect of the program and at all stages. These have to be planned at each step to ensure success of the project. There are four major important aspects:
a) Input: Program team, School Selection, Teacher Selection, Partner Selection, Student Selection.
b) Creation: Course Curriculum, Content, Teacher Training material, Job Descriptions, project plan etc.
c) Delivery: Teacher Training, Student/Community Mobilization, actual implementation.
d) Output: Assessment, Certification, Placement, Post Placement support.
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2.4.2 Risk Management:
Project Risks needs to be effectively mitigated:
a) Priority at State Level: The project needs to have a high level priority at the State Government level, including the Education Minister and Secretary (School Education)
b) Time: The project plan and time lines have to be closely aligned with the School calendar. All the activities have to be planned appropriately.
c) Industry: Close interaction and active involvement of the industry is needed. This is needed at the level of respective Sector Skill Council, State level employers and local employers.
d) Choice of Sectors / Trades: The trades to be offered in each school should be selected based on employment potential in the local and nearby areas.
e) Teachers: Getting motivated, industry experienced and skilled teachers is critical for the success.
f) Selection of Schools: In Year-1 of the project, select the schools which have motivated principals, good physical infrastructure and employment potential in the nearby areas.
g) Curriculum/ Courseware: Curriculum and courseware should be validated and ready before beginning of the session.
h) Students – Overcoming the perception issues: During the initial phases it would be important to pro-actively address the perception issues which students have about vocational education. For example, Vocational education in school level doesn’t work, VE is second choice, is for non-performing students.
i) Adequate orientation of Principals and District Education officers: they need to understand the need for Vocation education, NVEQF, and their role in the implementation.
j) Program Management (Central): A small dedicated team of 2-3 persons, should be focused on overall program management and coordination among all stakeholders.