|Establishing Partnership in Technical and Vocational Education - Co-operation between Educational Institutions and Enterprises in Technical and Vocational Education - A Seminar for Key Personnel from Africa and Asia - Berlin, Germany, 02-12 May 1995 (UNEVOC, 1995, 168 p.)|
What is UNEVOC?
The International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC) is a project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Its purpose is to contribute to the development and improvement of technical and vocational education in Member States. Based on a decision taken at the twenty-sixth session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1991, UNEVOC was launched in 1992.
The idea to launch a comprehensive project in technical and vocational education within UNESCO dates back to 1987. That year, UNESCO held its first International Congress for the Development and Improvement of Technical and Vocational Education in Berlin, Germany. Strong support was shown for the suggestion that mechanisms be established for the international exchange of information on technical and vocational education. It was proposed that UNESCO support the establishment of an international centre for research and development in technical and vocational education.
The General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-fifth session in 1989, took two important decisions related to technical and vocational education:
· The General Conference adopted the Convention on Technical and Vocational Education. This standard-setting instrument provides a coherent set of concepts and guidelines for the development of technical and vocational education in Member States, with particular regard to assuming public responsibility for framing policies and defining strategies of technical and vocational education, considered to be an integral part of the education system and for the promotion of international co-operation.
· Furthermore, the General Conference invited the Director-General of UNESCO to carry out a feasibility study on the establishment of an International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education.
This feasibility study recommended that UNESCO's activities in technical and vocational education should concentrate on matters of technical and vocational education as a component of the overall education system. Based on that feasibility study, which was completed early in 1991, the General Conference of UNESCO decided, at its twenty-sixth session in 1991, to launch the first phase of a UNESCO International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC).
In accordance with that decision, UNEVOC was designed
· to contribute to the development of systems of technical and vocational education,
· to promote infrastructures in research, development and planning, and
· to facilitate information and communication in these fields.
Structures and Mechanisms
UNEVOC is carried out under the responsibility of the Education Sector of UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris.
An International Advisory Committee has been established by UNESCO to advise the Organization on the preparation and implementation of the UNEVOC programme.
Many activities within UNEVOC are being executed on a regional basis and UNESCO's Regional Offices play an important role in the implementation of the project:
Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA)
· Arab States:
Regional Office for Education in the Arab States (UNEDBAS)
· Asia and the Pacific:
Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (PROAP)
· Latin America and the Caribbean:
Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC).
Following the decision on UNEVOC taken by the General Conference in 1991, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany offered to host an Implementation Unit in Berlin, in the immediate vicinity of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB).
On 17 July 1992, UNESCO and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany concluded an agreement on UNEVOC. In this agreement, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany offered to match UNESCO's budgetary input into the project, thus doubling the overall budget. In addition, UNESCO and Germany agreed to establish a project implementation unit in Berlin. Germany has generously provided premises for this Unit and the budget for office furniture and data processing and telecommunication facilities, as well as other initial equipment.
The Berlin Unit was officially opened on the occasion of the first session of the International Advisory Committee in September 1993. It supports the overall planning of UNEVOC and is responsible for the implementation of certain activities specified in the UNEVOC programme. The "Seminar on Co-operation between Educational Institutions and Enterprises in Technical and Vocational Education" has been carried out by UNEVOC Berlin.
The Programme for 1994-1995
According to a decision taken by UNESCO's Member States in 1991 and reaffirmed in November, 1994, UNEVOC works in three programme areas:
· Programme Area A deals with the international exchange of experience and the promotion of studies on policy issues. It is devoted to system development in technical and vocational education.
· Programme Area B is devoted to strengthening national research and development capabilities, that is to the development of infrastructures.
· Programme Area C concerns access to data bases and documentation, and strengthening of the UNEVOC Network, in other words, with information and communication.
The basic concept behind Programme Area A is to enhance the role and status of technical and vocational education within national education systems.
UNESCO held a consultation in 1993 with experts from different regions of the world in order to identify some of the factors which determine role and status of technical and vocational education. A series of case studies has been prepared on the relevance of these factors within given national education systems.
In order to promote co-operation between educational authorities and the world of work in technical and vocational education, studies have been conducted in selected countries on existing policies and legislation which enhance such co-operation. Regional symposia served to present the experience gathered to policy-makers.
Finally, surveys have been carried out on the relevance of vocational information and guidance for the equal access of girls and women to technical and vocational education. The results have been used as a contribution to the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995.
Programme Area B is devoted to strengthening national research and development capabilities, that is to the development of infrastructures. In 1993, UNESCO held a workshop which convened experts from all the regions of the world. Participants compared different methods of development of vocational curricula. The results have been evaluated in the regions. Follow-up activities have been implemented.
Special emphasis is being made on the process of international transfer and adaptation of existing curricula. Differences in applied technologies, in norms, in legislation, in teacher training, etc. have to be taken into account when curricula are to be adapted to a new environment. UNESCO has facilitated the documenting of methods applied and experience gathered in the course of such curriculum adaptation.
Co-operation between educational institutions and enterprises is needed not only at the system level, but also at the training level. The work place provides a valuable environment for systematic vocational learning. But how can this potential be utilised for the improvement of training? UNESCO initiated a series of studies on mechanisms for co-operation between educational institutions and enterprises, and made the results widely available.
Within this Programme Area, the International Seminar for Key Personnel on "Co-operation between Educational Institutions and Enterprises in Technical and Vocational Education" has been held.
Information and Communication
Programme Area C deals with access to data bases and documentation and with the strengthening of the UNEVOC Network. This concept includes, in particular, the development of information and communication structures among specialised institutions. The programme is devoted to enriching the flow of information between specialised institutions in the Member States, as well as increasing the transparency of information and enhancing access to data bases and documentation. UNEVOC will not compete with specialised documentation centres, but rather will assist Member States in efficiently using existing data and documentation.
The "UNEVOC Directory" of leading national and regional institutions active in research, development and planning in technical and vocational education has been prepared and disseminated.
UNEVOC INFO, which is published quarterly in English and French, is one of the activities under Programme Area C.
Documents dealing with specific topics in technical and vocational education are being prepared and disseminated.