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close this bookCase Studies on Technical and Vocational Education in Asia and the Pacific - An Overview (UNEVOC - ACEID, 1996, 32 p.)
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12th - 15th September 1994


1. Strategies to innovate Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) systems to cope with the changing demands of the labour market caused by National Economic Development.

Countries in the Asia/Pacific Region, in common with most other countries, are experiencing the effects of technological change on their economic development. Although the rate of technological change is different for all countries in the Region, these changes impact heavily on business and industry which needs to have a skilled workforce to meet the demands of new industrial and business processes and changed work practices.

To meet the challenges imposed by technological change, and to fulfil short and long-term economic goals, countries in the Asia and Pacific Region will need to develop responsive TVE systems, that provide the workforce with the skills required to meet the demands of increasingly complex industrial processes and the continued sophistication of information technology systems within the business sector.

It is therefore appropriate that countries in the Asia and Pacific Region support and adopt the following actions:

National TVE Policy Development

1.1 National TVE policies developed by governments or national agencies should be designed to achieve both short and long-term goals related to the implementation and improvement of TVE.

1.2 Regional and/or state political, educational and labour market bodies and committees should actively participate in the development of national TVE policies.

1.3 TVE providers (institutes, colleges, schools) in each country should have an input into and influence the way TVE policies are developed, so that policies and/or guidelines meet country economic, education and training requirements. TVE providers should have a ‘voice’ in the debate on the future of TVE in their own country.

Labour Market Planning and TVE Research

1.4 National TVE policies must be based on accurate and quantifiable labour market planning data. To ensure this is achieved, countries must establish agencies and/or systems to collect, analyse and distribute labour market information on which national policies and TVE programs can be developed.

1.5 National and/or state agencies and organisations should be established to undertake research into TVE within the country and to critically evaluate international experiences in education and training with the purpose of providing government ‘policy-makers’ with independent advice and reports so that short and long-term TVE goals, both at the national and regional level are achieved.

1.6 Any country in the Region should have the right to access TVE research data and labour market information from other countries free from any restrictions or limitations.

Funding for TVE

1.7 Given the crucial role TVE has in contributing to the economic development of a country through the education and training of skilled workers and technicians, government funding models should be reassessed so that more funds arc directed to TVE.

1.8 There should be consultative processes established between private and public sectors, to discuss and decide on the most appropriate funding arrangements that allow for additional spending on TVE, by strengthening relationships between education, business and industry. Examples of mechanisms that can increase the funding for TVE are ‘training levies’ on business and industry, the ability of TVE providers to levy fees on trainees and students, and the capacity of TVE providers to operate as ‘commercial enterprises’.

1.9 Governments should encourage the private sector to invest in TVE and support private sector initiatives, where it is demonstrated that these will lead to increased availability of training places, structured education and training programs and a credential or award that is recognised by industry and business.

Curriculum/Training Program Development

1.10 Curriculum/training program development is one of the most important aspects of a TVE system. Given that TVE systems should ensure the curricula or training specifications are aligned with the needs of business and industry, countries in the Region are encouraged to adopt a competency based vocational education (CBVE) approach.

1.11 For CBVE to be successful, countries will need to ensure that they establish or strengthen their TVE systems to be able to accommodate the requirements of CBVE for extensive industry involvement, course/program design and delivery, competency-based assessment, certification and accreditation.

1.12 TVE systems must ensure that they have the policies and processes established to maintain standards and accredit programs.

1.13 In view of developments in information and instructional technology, formats should be developed for curriculum documents that allow for translation and adaptation from country to country in the Region.

1.14 UNESCO should undertake an evaluation project, in co-operation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), to address the complex question of copyright as it pertains to the development and use curriculum documentation within the Region.

1.15 UNEVOC should investigate the establishment of a Regional Clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating policy documentation, TVE research reports and monographs, curricula and instructional materials.

1.16 There currently exists examples of co-operative curriculum development between countries within the Region. These co-operative ventures in designing high-priority curricula should be evaluated, documented and the results disseminated to countries proposing similar co-operative ventures.

2. Policies to promote close linkages between TVE institutions and industry.

2.1 Industry should be involved from the conceptualization and planning stage to the implementation and assessment of TVE programs.

2.2 There should be a legal framework to encourage industry to make financial contributions towards the provision of TVE.

2.3 Mechanisms need to be put in place to permit industry linkages either on a staff release or exchange basis.

2.4 Use of industrial infrastructure and equipment for TVE purposes should be encouraged.

2.5 TVE courses should be structured so as to satisfy objectives of industrial need.

3. Allocation and Utilization of financial resources to support TVE,

Financial resources need to be efficiently allocated and utilized to support TVE.

3.1 Funding allocations should take into account national development priorities.

3.2 When allocating funds care should be taken to reward cost effective institutions.

3.3 The performance of institutions should be monitored to ensure that they meet defined objectives.

3.4 Funding should take into account equity and regional disparity considerations.

4. Measures to improve the quality of teachers and instructors,

As teachers are critical to any program of instruction, their enhancement is essential for TVE status. Resources necessary to enhance the development of TVE teachers should be directed at ensuring improvements to the quality of teaching.

4.1 TVE teachers should be appropriately qualified to teach a program.

4.2 It is desirable that TVE teachers have the necessary industrial experience.

4.3 Mechanisms must exist to enable teachers to keep up to date with relevant industrial knowledge.

4.4 TVE teachers must be trained in effective management of the educative process.

5. Efforts to include entrepreneurial orientation and skills in TVE.

Self-employment is an important goal for those pursuing TVE in many countries. This necessitates the inclusion of entrepreneurial skills for small business development in the TVE curriculum.

5.1 An appropriate entrepreneurial skills curriculum should be developed and adapted by countries in the region.

5.2 Trainers from different countries should be given a general orientation/induction to entrepreneurship on a regional basis before the curriculum is implemented.

5.3 Curriculum development should be undertaken through a regionally coordinated mechanism and sharing of instructional resources should be encouraged.

5.4 Each country should expand entrepreneurial development activities and ensure wider coverage for identified TVE client groups.

6. Procedures to promote articulation between TVE and elements of the educational system, especially Higher Education.

Many countries in the Region are addressing issues associated with the articulation of TVE into Higher Education. Examples are available to provide countries with the processes and procedures’ to achieve this.

6.1 Country policies and procedures should ensure that fair and equitable processes are available for TVE graduates to articulate into, or gain credit towards, further or Higher Education.

6.2 Countries should endeavour to develop articulation/credit transfer systems that not only recognise formal study and qualifications but also adopt the principle of ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’(RPL). RPL should be investigated by countries currently not using this approach as a legitimate means for persons to gain access to TVE programs or to articulate into further or higher education courses.

6.3 For articulation and RPL processes to be successful, policies, guidelines and procedures will need to be developed by each country to cover the important aspects of assessment and certification.

6.4 Assessment and certification processes will need to be devised to allow the assessment of trainees/students by appropriately qualified persons within the TVE system against established state or national standards or benchmarks.

6.5 TVE credentials should only be awarded by institutes and organisations who meet all the legal requirements established by national TVE authorities with respect to assessment, certification and registration. It should be mandatory that credentials obtained by the trainee/student from any TVE system, institute, school or private organisation should be recognised and endorsed by industry and business.

6.6 Flexible delivery and open learning methods of TVE propagation may also assist in promoting articulation.

7. Ways to improve career guidance and counselling.

Career guidance and counselling should be improved as it would assist in course choice and industry placement..

8. Policies to improve the participation of special social groups in TVE.

8.1 Due to a number of socio-economic, geographical and political factors, certain groups within countries have not had access to TVE programs. Therefore, it is imperative that countries cater for the needs of special groups within society and promote the principle of access and equity.

8.2 Countries should develop national policies and special TVE programs to accommodate the training needs of women wanting to work in non-traditional occupations/jobs. Countries will also need to ensure that support mechanisms and appropriate facilities are made available for women undertaking TVE programs.

9. Development of TVE in the informal sector.

Training in the informal sector should be integrated into national systems of TVE through implementation of:

9.1 National systems of course accreditation and assessment which cover of all providers of TVE, including the informal sector.

9.2 Recognition by the formal TVE sector of relevant programs undertaken in the informal sector.