Scaling with the system
Medha has been working with DTE-UP (Department of Technical Education, Uttar Pradesh) for 8 years. Our journey started with career skills facilitation in 5 polytechnics, which grew to include 147 campuses and management of all placement activities.
Building on our experience, we renewed our partnership with the department this year to work on multiple levels. In the next 5 years, we will make holistic changes that strengthen polytechnic education, align it with industry, and drive data-backed governance in the system.
The diploma advantage and challenge
Getting a diploma has a few advantages for youth, especially for those who wish to enter the workforce early:
– It is more affordable and shorter than a professional degree.
– It helps develop hard skills and marketability.
However, our research and experience explain why these advantages are sometimes lost on the ground. In many institutes:
– A traditional, book-based learning method is still the norm.
– Subject-specific labs are out-of-date, and Wi-Fi facilities are inconsistent.
– Curriculum is poorly aligned with the industry’s needs.
As a result, 71% of polytechnic alumni are not gainfully employed.
A sustainable solution
Therefore, we are working with DTE-UP to strengthen its 166 government and aided polytechnics by focusing on:
– Building experiential facilitation skills in teachers,
– Introducing a market-relevant curriculum,
– Improving the physical learning facilities,
– Improving the industry-academia interface, and
– Creating a monitoring and evaluation framework.
We recently piloted an experiential facilitation workshop for 25 teachers in Kanpur. In the next two years, we will hold such workshops for 1000 polytechnic teachers (~60% of the current capacity) and identify top performers to lead workshops in the future.
We’ve also introduced 140 principals (~95% of the current strength) to an online data management portal so they can evaluate their college’s learning and employment activities.
Scaling with the system
Nearly 2000 teachers, placement and counseling officers, and principals support UP’s polytechnic system. Along with industry experts, they play a crucial role in students’ learning and career journeys.
At its core, our project will build system actors’ capacities and mobilize their optimism to lead reforms. So that they can enable polytechnics’ 70,000+ young people to enjoy the diploma advantage and start their career journeys.