|Case Studies on Technical and Vocational Education in Asia and the Pacific - Conference Report (UNEVOC - ACEID, 1996, 28 p.)|
Mr Peter Bruhn
An analysis of the country Case Studies, and exemplified during individual country delegates presentations, clearly shows that all countries are at very different stages of development with respect to technical and vocational education.
Some countries have, or are creating, separate and distinct vocational education and training sectors, either as a part of, or affiliated with Universities and Polytechnics. Other countries are attempting to increase the number of skilled workers (trade and technician level) by using or modifying the existing secondary school systems.
Added to this is the overwhelming diversity of political systems, administrative structures and education and training policies and philosophies that exist within the Region. From the Case Studies, and in the course of discussion amongst the delegates, several key issues emerged:
1. Countries within the Region are committed to rapidly expanding technical and vocational education;
2. That future international competitiveness in trade and increases in national productivity will only occur by having a skilled work force capable of meeting the technological changes of the 1990s and beyond;
3. Several of the countries are emerging from an agrarian economy to embrace the new information technology society with inadequate numbers of trained technicians to meet the current demands of business and industry;
4. That for technical and vocational education to be effective and efficient, linkages with business and industry were vital. Without collaboration of industry and enterprises the important work-based component of training, which is one of technical and vocational education primary goals, would be very difficult if not impossible to meet.
5. That funding arrangements in many countries favoured higher education sectors at the expense of technical and vocational education. This was in part due to the glamour and high profile of educating the professions.
Mechanisms were being introduced in various countries to increase funding to TVE through the introduction of training levies, promoting investment in training by the private sector or allowing schools/colleges to operate as commercial businesses by selling products and services.
6. That the countries in the Asia and the Pacific Region had embarked on various quality improvement cycles to reshape/improve technical and vocational education by:
· Adopting and implementing established technical and vocational education systems such as the Dual System from Germany;
· Promoting institutional/enterprise partnerships in the development and delivery of vocational education and training initiatives;
· Exploring the implications of developing technical and vocational curricula using competency standards and competency-based training and assessment approaches and with the active participation of business and industry;
· Reviewing other countries initiatives in flexible delivery and open learning with the intent of incorporating more flexible learning approaches within their TVE systems;
· Addressing the shortfall in qualified and experienced TVE teachers and trainers by establishing institutes to improve professional competence of existing teachers and trainers and significantly increase initial teacher training enrolments for those wanting to teach in TVE or industry;
· Governments increasing resource allocations to TVE institutes for the modernisation/upgrading of facilities and the purchase of equipment essential for teaching TVE programs;
· Developing regional or national policies and procedures to allow for greater articulation between general education and TVE and career pathways into higher education;
· Placing greater emphasis on entrepreneurial skills development within TVE programs to cater for the needs of people wanting to establish and operate small businesses;
· Addressing the needs of special social groups, especially women, by providing support mechanisms and facilities so that they can actively participate in TVE and work in non-traditional occupations and jobs.