|Case Studies on Technical and Vocational Education in Asia and the Pacific - Islamic Republic of Iran (UNEVOC - ACEID, 1996, 24 p.)|
There are many industrial, agricultural, and commercial educational institutions functioning in the governmental organisations of Iran. These institutions are in addition to colleges and universities which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Education.
In order to promote close linkage between Technical and Vocational education institutions and industries, agriculture and commerce, the, establishment of a Union of Universities of Technology UUT was suggested by the author and is currently operational. The main objectives of the UUT proposal are to establish a technical and educational missioned organisation to recommended and prepare the means for total cooperation among the public and private institutions for training and educating the required human resources in industry, agriculture, and commerce.
The following items summarise the UUT's objectives:
· Workshop and Laboratories
To provide and utilise common facilities existing in industry, agriculture, and commerce in technical and vocational fields for training the skilled manpower.
To develop and utilise standard TVE curricula in all institutions and colleges covered by the UUT. Curriculum planning is an integral part of general, technical and vocational education plans in the preparation of strategic plans.
Modular curriculum development will also be utilised which this approach has been shown to be the most suitable for keeping pace with technological change.
To utilise well qualified engineers and masters in industry as teachers and instructors for technological courses. There is a shortage both of suitably qualified teaching staff and teachers with relevant industrial or commercial experience. The teaching staff should possess appropriate technological and pedagogical qualifications coupled with industrial experience. This makes an ideal situation for UUT to utilise all of its qualified staff as teachers.
The linkage between TVE colleges and industry and commerce is important in order to provide present and future technological teachers with practical experience in industry and commerce. Thereby ensuring that they acquire the appropriate knowledge and skills for their teachings. UUT links industry and education in helping to upgrade technical and vocational teachers. For example in agriculture, local co-operative projects involving personnel from nearby farms and staff from TVE involved in agro-industry is possible. There are large scale farms and agro-industry facilities related to the Ministry of Agriculture. Also there exist several natural resource facilities such as forestry and fishery under the supervision of Ministry of Rural Development (Jahad Sazandegee). The agro-industries, forestries and fisheries owned by these governmental organisations are ideal centres for teacher training on the technical fields of agriculture and natural resources. The following are some example projects;
· Karadj Agricultural Institute
· Mirza Kouchak Khan Fisheries College
· Shahid Baakeri College (for animal husbandry)
· International cooperation
The Union of Universities of Technology is an excellent means of providing regional training centres with the support of international organisations.
International cooperation is vital for the exchange of information and teaching instruction such as tools based on Computer Aided Training (CAT) software and the improvement of trained teachers.
The pace of rapid technological change causes teaching and training equipment to become obsolete quickly. Local industries cannot donate new equipment to educational and training institutions to collaborate with teachers in course development. In this situation international assistance may be required and through UUT as the central point, cooperation will be much simpler than through individual institutions.
In the future, technological change will continue to be made first in industry and will reach educational institutions only after their initial development and marketing. As a consequence the teaching institutions will always be technologically behind industry.
UUT is one solution for this problem in order to minimise the divergence between technical and vocational provision and industrial practices.