|International Congress on the Development and Improvement of Technical and Vocational Education - Final Report - 22 June -1 July 1987, Berlin (UNESCO, 1987, 68 p.)|
15. The first major theme for discussion, Review of major trends in technical and vocational education (document ED-87/CONF.401/REF. 4) was presented to the Congress by Mr. H. Unterbrunner, Unesco consultant, and several speakers took part in the ensuing discussion,
16. The quantitative expansion of technical and vocational education over the period 1970-1984 was noted; its annual growth rate worldwide represents 4. 5 per cent, as compared with 3.9 per cent for general education. The growth rate of technical and vocational education in developing countries (7.1 per cent) was greater than in industrialized countries (3 per cent). These statistics, however, do not reflect enrolment in non-formal vocational education, which is especially significant in industrialized countries. The actual situation in developing countries is less favourable than these statistics indicate as only a small percentage of the population has the possibility to enter secondary education and the total population growth in many countries counter-balances the increase of enrolment in education. Quantitative expansion of technical and vocational education has had a negative influence in a few cases where insufficient attention has been paid to the quality of instruction.
17. A major drawback for technical and vocational education in certain countries is its low status and insufficient training facilities to produce middle-level technical personnel. There is also a tendency towards overproduction of higher-level personnel with the upgrading of technical schools and institutes leading toward disproportionate output in relation to real employment requirements for socio-economic development.
18. The last ten years have shown that progress has been made in policy formulation for technical and vocational education; many countries have adopted policy statements and reforms in this field, and a number consider that Unescos Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education provides adequate guidelines in this connection.
19. Rapid technological progress and changes in the labour market have called for constant adjustment of the system and for closer co-operation between educational, economic and labour authorities. Planners of the development of human resources have proved their methods and continuous evaluation has provided better feedback.
20. It was noted that administrative structures have also considerably improved, and separate departments dealing with technical and vocational education within ministries of education have teen created. In a number of countries, separate ministries, state committees or autonomous bodies have been established to take over the responsibility for technical and vocational education and training,
21. The high cost of technical and vocational education is an important concern, as is the need to strengthen links between this type of education and industry, which is expected to contribute in sharing the cost of training through provision of facilities, etc. New forms of co-operation between school and industry have been developed which facilitate the identification of possible workplaces for future graduates.
22. An important development has been the reform of general education to include technical elements in curricula as well as an increased orientation to active life. Such efforts, which have generally focused on young people aged 12-15 at lower-secondary level, have provided basic knowledge and skills and have encouraged positive attitudes towards technical and vocational careers.
23. Progress has been achieved in the improvement of educational structures, although barriers still exist to a large extent between general education and technical and vocational education, between technical and vocational education and vocational training and, in particular, between technical and vocational education and higher education. However, some countries have created open, more flexible systems to counteract this problem. Efforts should be made by more countries in these fields.
24. A number of achievements have been made in curriculum development through the use of modern methods, although there is a need for adaptation of different models of curricula to local situations. Lack of learning material has also hampered the quality of the teaching/learning process in some countries. Modern technology such as computers have been introduced into technical and vocational education during the last ten years and are increasingly being used in this field. Although priorities are being giver, to the requirements of the individual learner, more emphasis should be giver, to developing his creative abilities. The use of computers in technical and vocational education should take into account the increasing intellectual possibilities of the learner, solving pedagogical problems and elimination of possible negative effects on creative abilities, as well as the health of the learner. Emphasis should also be given to the aspects of general human values and the environment in technical and vocational education curricula.
25. The role of technical and vocational teachers and their training is a crucial issue. In this connection, it is very important for technical and vocational education teachers to possess high level qualifications to enable them to be involved in the organization and planning of their work in close co-ordination with economic developments. In some countries, an important problem is lower salaries of such teachers as compared with those of personnel in comparable positions in industry. The resulting loss of teaching personnel for technical and vocational education is considered a severe handicap. Rapid technological progress over recent years has called for an acceleration of in-service training to update and upgrade technical and vocational education teachers. New methods have been developed in the form of modular training to link in-service and pre-service training more closely together and to increase cost-efficiency.