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Competency-based curriculum development in the informal sector: The case of sewing skills training in rural South India

  • Muthuveeran Ramasamy
  • Matthias PilzEmail author
Original Paper
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Although India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, a large proportion of its people live in rural regions and is employed in the informal economy. Constituting a prominent role in the informal economy, the textile industry is one of the oldest and most labour-intensive in India, which is globally ranked fourth in leading garment sourcing destinations around the world. However, the Indian garment industry has a shortage of skilled labour. Vocational skills training is one of the best tools to help individuals participate in the labour market and boost productivity and working conditions, especially for disadvantaged people. However, recent economic trends and traditional curriculum methods tend to ignore the needs of these marginalised groups, and this impedes the growth and productivity of the informal sector. This article explores the extent to which a competency-based curriculum development approach can respond to the skills training needs of people (seeking to be) employed in the informal sector. The authors discuss the theoretical framework of competency-based curricula. Next, they describe the process of developing a curriculum for sewing skills training based on learners’ demands. This process was part of a study they carried out in rural South India, and the resulting curriculum was subsequently piloted in four villages in South India as an intervention strategy. The authors complement the analysis and discussion of their findings from the piloted curriculum with insights from expert interviews they conducted to explore curriculum framing and teaching–learning arrangements from a pedagogical perspective. They conclude that a competency-based curriculum approach works best in the informal sector if the targeted learners are directly involved in its planning and development.

Keywords

Competency Curriculum development Demand-driven approach India Informal sector 

Résumé

Développement de curriculums fondés sur les compétences dans le secteur informel, illustré par le cas d’une formation en couture dans le sud rural de l’Inde – Développement de curriculums fondés sur les compétences dans le secteur informel, illustré par le cas d’une formation en couture dans le sud rural de l’Inde. Bien que l’Inde soit l’une des économies mondiales qui croissent le plus rapidement, une grand part de sa population vit dans des régions rurales et travaille dans le secteur informel. L’industrie textile, qui joue un rôle important dans l’économie informelle, est une des plus anciennes et des plus denses en main-d’œuvre du pays; elle est la quatrième source mondiale d’approvisionnement dans le secteur de la confection. Toutefois, l’industrie indienne de la confection connaît une pénurie de main-d’œuvre qualifiée. La formation professionnelle est un des meilleurs outils pour aider les gens à intégrer le marché du travail, stimuler la productivité et améliorer les conditions de travail, notamment celles des personnes défavorisées. Cependant, les tendances écono-miques récentes et les méthodes des programmes d’enseignement traditionnels ne tiennent souvent pas compte des besoins de ces groupes marginalisés, ce qui ralentit la croissance et la productivité du secteur informel. Cet article examine dans quelle mesure le développement de curriculums fondés sur les compétences peut répondre aux besoins en matière de formation professionnelle des personnes travaillant (ou cherchant à travailler) dans le secteur informel. Les auteurs s’interrogent sur le cadre théorique des curriculums axés sur les compétences. Ils décrivent ensuite le processus d’élaboration d’un programme de formation en couture axé sur les demandes des apprenants. Ce processus faisait partie d’une étude qu’ils ont menée dans le sud rural de l’Inde. Le curriculum qui en est issu a par la suite été testé dans quatre villages du sud du pays en guise de stratégie d’intervention. Les auteurs étoffent l’analyse des résultats du curriculum testé et le débat auquel ils ont donné lieu en y ajoutant des idées extraites d’interviews qu’ils ont réalisées avec des spécialistes pour examiner les dispositions d’encadrement et d’enseignement et d’apprentissage d’un programme d’un point de vue pédagogique. Ils concluent que l’approche du curriculum axé sur les compétences fonctionne le mieux dans le secteur informel si l’on fait directement participer les apprenants ciblés à sa planification et à son développement.

Notes

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Copyright information

© UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VIT UniversityVelloreIndia
  2. 2.G.R.E.A.T. (German Research Center for Comparative Vocational Education and Training)University of CologneCologneGermany

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