|APPEAL - Training Materials for Continuing Education Personnel (ATLP-CE) - Volume 5: Income-Generating Programmes (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 127 p.)|
A. Social Marketing Strategies for IGPs
Economic development is a very high priority for all countries in this Region, so much so, that all of them have prepared short and long term plans as a basis for development programmes. The Gross National Product of a country in one sense is a reflection of the collective income of its people. A measure of a countrys growth is the size of that income and the rate at which it can be expanded. That expansion can occur in two ways:
1. by increase in the total number of persons generating income, and
2. by increase in the size of each persons income.
Education and training is a critical element in these plans because prosperity depends a great deal on the capabilities of countrys human resources. Economic growth is possible only with a skilled workforce and by maintaining and increasing the quality of that workforce. Even the more developed countries recognize that their workforce must constantly acquire new skills and knowledge.
Unfortunately there are many people in the Region who have little or no vocational skills and therefore have a poor quality of life. These people have a negative effect on the economy because they have to be supported by welfare or in some other way. The programmes suggested in this volume are directed towards this target group and the objective is to turn this negative effect into a positive contribution to a nations economy.
The formal system of education, of course, plays an important role in the economy, producing graduates who are able to gain productive employment. However, it is sad but nevertheless a reality that significant proportions of people either do not enter this formal system or drop out of it as an early stage. Those who drop out rarely return. Apart from the fact that in some countries the formal system is still short of the necessary resources to provide for all citizens, there is this group who for one reason or another will remain untrained unless special efforts are made to provide for them.
The fact is that most persons who are very poor are almost totally pre-occupied with survival. Some will understand the arguments used about increasing productivity and they will make sacrifices to grasp these training opportunities. However, most need an incentive of some kind as a motivation. One incentive could be the provision of learning and seed capital funds from which people can purchase materials they need for learning and from which products can be made and sold. The income generated can then provide funds for further courses. A further incentive could be to assist groups to find market outlets.
The support of industry in IGP is therefore essential. Industry has physical and human resources which IGPs need to use. Managers, supervisors and craftsmen have the skills and knowledge which IGPs can seek to transfer to the target groups. However, industry too needs some incentive to make those resources available. Most countries have found it difficult to persuade industry to assist in this way. Governments too need to aware that IGPs are directed toward expanding the skilled workforce. An effort is needed to convince high level policy makers and planners in the member countries to promote IGPs through continuing education.
B. Co-ordination Aspects of IGPs
There is a growing trend in the Region to include some income generating activities in the formal school curriculum. In primary school, activities focus on developing positive attitudes to work and to the dignity of labour. Some attention is given to using and saving money. In secondary school vocational oriented subjects form part of the curriculum.
In some Member States there are separate specialized streams which focus on vocational and technical subjects. These newer secondary school subjects are not just conventional industrial arts or trades courses such as metalwork and woodwork but are broader in scope, emphasizing life skills.
All Member States also have a system of technical and vocational education running partly parallel with their secondary school system and sometimes going beyond secondary level, and also leading to tertiary levels. The main focus of such technical and vocational education is to provide training in job related skills and to prepare students for the world of work.
IGPs, therefore have some basis in the formal system, but the formal system does not cater for all needs. There is therefore, some alternative provision for IGPs through non-formal educational systems which organize programmes equivalent to those of the formal system.
In addition many groups in industry, agriculture, commerce, services and so on offer on-job training. Other agencies such as community centres and village cooperatives encourage entrepreneurship and provide programmes to foster self-employment and develop skills which could lead to employment for wages. These skills need identification in consultation with specific communities keeping their developmental foci in view.
All of these activities under IGPs need to be coordinated and should be complementary and not be in competition. They should share resources both human and physical.
The format education system has a wealth of relevant resources, often not utilized intensively, and should make them available to the community for IGP activities. To achieve this there needs to be a clear policy to ensure strong coordination between government and non-government schools and other agencies so that the use of resources is maximized.
Providers in on-job situations such as factories, farms, or businesses are in special need of support, because they are not usually set up as training institutions but under IGPs accept a braining role. They therefore need training resources. These can be supplied directly or by cooperation with local formal and non-formal educational institutions. Educational establishments within industry in specific cases should also be promoted.
All agencies involved in IGPs therefore would benefit if they were part of a well organized and effective IGP network. They could share resources, exchange resources, and benefit from sharing knowledge, experience and expertise.
IGPs cater specifically for groups and individuals who wish to improve their levels of income. The other types of continuing education, however, should also include some IGP related activities. This would ensure high levels of motivation and cater for genuine needs. This is particularly the case in Post-Literacy, Equivalency and Quality of Life Improvement Programmes.
In the changing global context, most individuals should learn throughout life. As they progress from basic literacy through changing life circumstances, most people need a type of education which helps them earn more money to live more comfortably. At each stage of life, specific needs in this respect may be different and changing. Any network of IGPs - formal, non-formal or provided by other agencies - must cater for these changing needs. An efficient network is essential to ensure that each individual has access to IGPs as needed.
C. Socio-economic Impact of IGPs
Successful conduct of IGPs can lead to upgrading of skills, productivity and employability of the participants. In addition IGPs can assist in expanding human capacity, innovation and creativity depending upon the people in the three levels of development discussed in the earlier chapters. These skills, abilities and competencies can lead to several kinds of benefits to individuals, societies and the nations at large. These benefits could be direct or indirect and short or long term. The possible impact of these developments can be described briefly with respect to each level of development as follows.
In low level development, a great majority of people live in rural areas with poor economic conditions. The skills developed through appropriate IGPs can raise the productivity of this bulk of the population engaged in agriculture, rural business, cottage industries and other cooperative undertakings. Large scale participation and improved performance of these people can enable them to raise income levels, improve quality of life, develop local communities and increase contributions to the national economy. Once convinced of the benefits of IGPs, motivation for higher levels of production and income could automatically follow taking them out from the vicious circle of poverty. To cite an example, the opportunities provided for upgrading skills along with the Saemaul movement (new village movement) in the Republic of Korea enabled the people and the society to become more prosperous and transform the country from a largely agrarian society to an industrial economy.
In mid level development, the opportunities provided through IGPs particularly for school leavers can enable them to participate in productive activities either through paid or self-employment. As a result, there can be a decrease in unemployment and social unrest among the educated unemployed. The large number of semiskilled and skilled workers produced through IGPs and employed in industrial, economic and other service sectors can generate more income for themselves and also contribute to the national economy through higher levels of productivity in their own organisations. Singapore is a case in point, where skill development programmes conducted in a organized manner expanded the human capacity for achieving greater production levels, improving individual incomes, enhancing quality of life and increasing economic competitiveness.
In higher level development, IGPs could add new dimensions in value addedness, competitiveness, innovation and capability to manage dynamically changing technologies.
IGPs can also equip people for participation in an effective manner in understanding and managing new technologies. This can result in continued growth. Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are examples of successful expansion of human capability through IGPs and other related programmes.
The overall impact of IGPs therefore can be seen over time progressively resulting in:
- increasing the productivity of the people
- enhancing their value addedness
- raising their levels of income
- improving quality of life
- decreasing unemployment and social unrest
- fostering greater participation in national development
- improving self-reliance and reducing dependence, and
- increasing the human potential and prosperity of nations.