|Feasibility Study for Facilitating Access to Databases and Documentation in Technical and Vocational Education in UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres (NCHRD - ROEAS, 1995, 102 p.)|
2.1. The International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC):
In 1987 UNESCO held its first International Congress for Development and Improvement of Technical and Vocational Education in Berlin, Germany. It was proposed at this event that UNESCO support the establishment of an International Centre for Research and Development in the Technical and Vocational Education.
In 1989 the Convention on Technical and Vocational Education was adopted in the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-fifth session. 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 cooperation. 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.
In 1991 the feasibility study was completed. The General Conference of UNESCO decided at its twenty-sixth session to launch the first phase of a UNESCO International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC). The first phase of UNEVOC covers the period until the twenty-eighth session of the General Conference of UNESCO (late 1995).
In accordance with that decision, UNEVOC was designed:
· To contribute to the development of systems of Technical and Vocational Education, through international exchange of experience and the promotion of studies on policy issues (Programme Area A).
· To promote infrastructures in research, development and planning, through Strengthening national Research and Development (R&D) capabilities (Programme Area B).
· To facilitate information and communication in these fields, through access to Databases and Documentation in its broadest sense (Programme Area C).
UNEVOC is carried out under the responsibility of the Education Sector of UNESCO, specifically the Section for Technical and Vocational Education, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.
An International Advisory Committee has been established by UNESCO to advise the organization on preparation and implementation of the UNEVOC programme.
Many activities within UNEVOC are being implemented on a regional basis and UNESCOs Regional Offices play an important role in the implementation of the project:
· Africa: 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).
On 17 July 1992, UNESCO and The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany concluded an agreement to establish a project implementation unit in Berlin. On September 1993, the UNEVOC Implementation Unit - Germany (IUG) in Berlin was officially opened on the occasion of the first session of the. International Advisory Committee. The IUG is responsible for implementation of certain activities specified in the UNEVOC programme.
2.2. UNEVOC programme and activities:
UNEVOC programme and activities emphasize three programme areas:
Programme Area A:
To enhance the role and status of Technical and Vocational Education within national education systems:
· Identification of some of the factors which determine the role and status of Technical and Vocational Education.
· Promotion of co-operation between educational authorities and the world of work in Technical and Vocational Education.
· Promotion of equal access of girls and women to Technical and Vocational Education.
Programme Area B:
Strengthening national R&D capabilities, that is to the development of infrastructures:
· Methods of development of vocational curricula.
· International transfer and adaptation of existing curricula.
· Mechanisms for co-operation between educational institutions and enterprises.
· promotion of non-formal Technical and Vocational Education.
Programme Area C:
To facilitate information and communication in Technical and Vocational Education fields in its broadest sense:
· Development of information and communication structure among specialized institutions in the Member States.
· Enriching the flow of information between specialized institutions in the Member States, as well as enhancing the access to databases and documentation and increasing the transparency of information.
· Assist Member States in efficiently using existing data and documentation.
2.3. UNEVOC International, Regional, and National Networks
2.3.1. UNEVOC International Network:
Based on prior communication and coordination between UNEVOC Secretariat at UNESCO HQs in Paris; UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin, and National Commissions for UNESCO in Member States, all Member States were informed about UNEVOC objectives and programme of action through UNESCO programme and budget
The Member States were asked to nominate one UNEVOC Centre in each country (In very exceptional cases, two) to be the National Focal Point for UNEVOC activities in that country. The Member States- could nominate up to three centres to be as Associate Centres in the country and could be included in UNEVOC Directory and later to formulate a bases for National UNEVOC Network in the country. The International UNEVOC Network include around 135 UNEVOC Centres and Associate Centres from 100 Member States as well as 10 relevant international and regional organizations (UNEVOC Directory, October 1995). The classification of UNEVOC International and Regional Networks according to UNESCOs Regions around the world is shown in figure (2.1).
2.3.2. UNEVOC Regional Networks:
As a result of UNEVOC international and regional meetings, five Regional UNEVOC Networks were formulated in Europe, Arab States, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific. As shown in figure (2.2).
UNESCO HQs formulated the Focal Point for Europe (Including North America) while UNESCO Regional Offices for Education in Amman, Bangkok, Dakar, and Santiago formulated the Focal Points for Regional Network in Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean respectively.
The Regional UNEVOC Network in the Arab States, as shown in Figure (2.3), consists of (32) Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions in most of the Arab States (UNEVOC Centres an Associate Centres). They can be classified as follows:
Fourteen Ministries and schools (Vocational Education).
Twelve Vocational Training institutions
Five Universities (Teachers Education)
One Research And Development Centre.
2.3.3. UNEVOC National Network:
Each member state was encouraged through UNEVOC international and regional meetings to formulate National UNEVOC Network, to cooperate with other UNEVOC Centres and Associate centres on UNEVOC activities. Several Arab States through their National Commission for UNEVOC formulated such networks, for example UNEVOC National Networks exist in Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. It is expected that other countries of the region will follow such action, as the future orientation of UNEVOC activities will focus on national and subregional levels to insure continuity and comprehension of UNEVOC.
2.4. The responsibilities of UNEVOC Regional Focal Points and UNEVOC National Focal Points (UNEVOC Centres):
According to TVE-UNEVOC Regional Expert Meeting, Bahrain, 20-24 March 1994, the responsibilities of UNEVOC Regional Focal Points and UNEVOC National Focal Points (UNEVOC Centres) were stated as follows:
A. Responsibilities of UNEVOC Regional Focal Point
This Focal Point should be linked to UNESCO Regional Office for Education in the Arab States (UNEDBAS) with the following responsibilities:
1. Linking the Arab States with the International Project on Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC).
2. Coordination and exchange of experiences, among the Arab States on TVE.
3. Establishment of a Central Database for the Arab Region responsible for collecting data and analyzing statistics. And to coordinate and exchange such information among the Arab States.
4. Coordinating and exchange of experience and the transfer of high technology and its utilization in strengthening the effectiveness of TVE programmes through the cooperation and coordination among the relevant institutions in the Arab States in order to meet and develop their professional needs.
5. Working closely with UNESCO Educational Innovative Programme for Development in the Arab States (EIPDAS).
B. Responsibilities of the National Focal Point will be as follows:
1. To have close cooperation with the Regional Focal Point to achieve the objectives of the projects (UNEVOC).
2. To exchange and follow up the execution of Regional Focal Point projects with the National Focal Points responsible for the development of TVE in accordance with the local circumstances.
3. Providing the Regional Focal Point with results and experiences achieved from execution of the projects in order to achieve coordination among National Focal Points.
4. Regional Focal Point should regularly be kept informed by the National Focal Points to provide feasibility studies on the development and improvement of TVE for their evaluation and continued participation in their execution.
5. To unify all national efforts for the collection of data and documentation on TVE.
2.5. Cooperation on TVE-UNEVOC Activities:
TVE is considered as the backbone of scientific, professional, technical and vocational knowledge, know-how and skills. It is needed within the educational system as a preparation tool for the world of work.
To confront tough competition in both products and services in the global marketplace, the international developed countries are radically restructuring the organization of their establishments and are recognizing the need to accomplish many tasks on continuos bases, some of which are the following:
· Performing market analysis;
· Studying, analyzing, and reviewing psychological, behavioral, educational, social, environmental, economical, and political effects, nationally and internationally, on products, services, work-force and the global marketplace;
· Performing production and sales analysis, financial analysis, cash flow analysis, cost benefit analysis, and other analyses criteria;
· Examining and improving product quality control, monitoring, feedback, and evaluation procedures;
· Devising and implementing new planning strategies;
· Formulating and executing policies;
· Formulating and enacting legislation, regulations, and disciplines;
· Stimulate science and technology to develop and execute advanced Research and Development (R&D) activities;
· Utilizing comprehensive high standard TVE;
· Devising and implementing extensively customized TVE curricula and training programmes. Monitoring, examining, and evaluating student/trainee, teacher/trainer, enterprise, and work environment feedback, and applying needed revisions; and
· Continuously training and retraining the labor force.
To accomplish these activities on continuos bases, Information pertaining to these and other areas of interest is in demand.
The new breakthroughs in information technology is being utilized to cater for this ever growing demand for information and knowledge.
Databases and documentation in these areas are being developed and enhanced, and their evolution are being accelerated.
Computer direct access facilities, communications equipment and information networks are facilitating access to these databases and documentation and disseminating their valuable information.
The Arab States (in general) are involved with UNESCO as well as with other UN organizations to cope with the scientific and technical advancements, and to achieve high degree of national self-reliance, and be able to develop and execute fruitful Research and Development (R&D) activities.
Their need to access, obtain, and utilize the information contained in these existing databases and documentation and to develop their own national databases and documentation is paramount, specially in TVE.
TVE was emphasized in the final report of The Fifth UNESCO Conference of Ministers of Education and those Responsible for Economic Planning in the Arab States. (MINEDARAB) Cairo, 11-14 June 1994, Cairo declaration. The recommendations included the following:
· Consolidate links between general and Technical and Vocational Education (TVE), and between TVE and the world of work through the greater diversification of TVE content and related delivery systems.
· Ensure, in cooperation with business and industry the mutual recognition of TVE qualifications in the Region.
· Promote the use of print and electronic media to deliver TVE programmes to areas and population where access is difficult.
· Provide equal opportunity in TVE for women and girls.
· Derive benefits from International Project on Technical and Vocational Education UNEVOC through the enhanced participation of the Arab States TVE Associated Centres and institutions.
UNESCO Member States in general and the Arab member States in particular are cooperating to achieve the UNEVOC global objectives of developing viable, workable, advanced, and high standard TVE discipline. Regional Network in the Arab member States is a Model for such international and regional cooperation on the development of TVE discipline.
Other organization that are involved in TVE activates are:
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Arab Federation for Technical Education (AFTE)
Arab labor organization (ALO)
Arab League Educational, Cultural, And Scientific Organization (ALECSO)
Islamic Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
The areas of cooperation on the development of TVE discipline could cover exchanging information pertaining to TVE in many areas of activities, some of which are:
· Strategic long-range, middle-range, and short-range planning;
· National policy;
· The effect and impact of occurring regional and national Socio-economic environment changes on the existing policies, strategies, legislation, regulations, and curricula;
· Legislation and regulations;
· Customized new and current curricula, training programmes and technologies;
· Monitoring, examination, evaluation, feedback, and revisions techniques;
· Informatics, Databases, Documentation and Communication; and
· Continuos education and training of personnel.