Early exposure to serve the forces

armed forces preprs.JPG

Kochi: From the next academic year onwards, schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) plan to introduce higher secondary students to challenging careers in the Armed Forces.
“We already have a ‘General Foundation Course’ for which two periods per week have been earmarked for providing awareness about career options, apart from training them in current affairs and general knowledge. Now the benefits and challenges of a career with the Indian Armed Forces will be the main focus in these classes. The aim is to attract young students to serve in the Forces”, said CBSE official Rama Sharma.
For this, the teaching staff should give shape to motivational material after a detailed study of the functioning of the Armed Forces. For instance, they could refer to the official websites or base in NCERT publications like The Indian Army-A Glorious Heritage, the official said.
Though this is the latest step in the career guidance programme, school management associations, academicians and parents cite that only a few schools are actually following the guidelines in the absence of a well laid-out structure/material for career-guidance.
“In the case of state schools where NCC programmes are being implemented, it’s the officers themselves who first train the selected teachers. Some sort of a similar process should be followed here. The idea is good and could go a long way in resolving the shortage of qualified personnel in the Armed Forces”, said Adv T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan, president of the Kerala CBSE Schools Management Association.
Currently, the NCC in the state covers 522 schools, 254 colleges and encompasses nearly 77,000 students from both urban and rural areas. It offers a wide variety of adventure activities such as microlight flying, sailing, rowing, shooting, parasailing and riding, intended to boost the confidence and promote the leadership skills of students.
"Starting the academic session 2013- 14, NCC has been introduced as an optional/elective subject in CBSE schools with credit points. Consequently, there has been a review of the syllabus, which now lays  greater emphasis on personality development and social skills”, said Colonel P.G.Krishna, Director, NCC Thiruvananthapuram Directorate. However, there is no scheme where the armed staff could train CBSE students.
“An orientation programme is a must for students at this age. However, it’s not being given at the grassroot level and there is no monitoring facility by the board. Most of the students know only two streams – engineering or medicine, though their skills lie elsewhere. The CBSE should lay out a proper structure and also ensure that the directions are followed by schools”, said CBSE-ICSE Parents Forum coordinator Dr Sanal Kumar.

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