|Policy Development and Implementation of Technical and Vocational Education for Economic Development in Asia and the Pacific - Conference Proceedings - UNESCO - UNEVOC Regional Conference (RMIT, 1997, 520 p.)|
Thu, 24 Oct 96 16:14:48 EST
UNESCO UNIVOC Regional Conference: AUSAID Paper
Ms Diana Russell
UNESCO UNEVOC Centre
University Office of International Programs
Please find attached the AusAID paper for the UNESCO UNEVOC conference to be held in November. I am also sending a copy by fax and a hard copy by express post today.
Social Sector and Gender
The following is an attached File item from cc:Mail. It contains eight bit information which had to be encoded to insure successful transmission through various mail systems. To decode the file use the UUDECODE program.
A Paper Presented to the
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology,
Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
November 11 -15,1996
The Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training
P.O. Box 3546,
The paper is divided into three major parts. The first part briefly discusses and identifies seven different disadvantaged groups. In addition, this first part suggests that all individuals could be considered disadvantaged in some way. The concept of disadvantaged societies, countries and environments is mentioned in passing, being outside the scope of this paper.
The second part briefly summarizes a literature review of TEVT and the disadvantaged. Six major points are made including the importance of literacy for the disadvantaged, history of TEVT for the disadvantaged, education and its impact on women, public vocational education vs skills training, secondary vocational schools vs non-formal training systems, and incorporation of TEVT programs into national planning. The full literature review, complete with references, is included in the appendix.
The third part presents a glimpse of Nepal's situation in relation to disadvantaged groups, as well as the importance and priority that His Majesty's Government is giving to poverty alleviation and addressing the needs of the disadvantaged.
A number of interventions are presently being considered for implementation by Nepal's Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) which is the leading body for coordinating TEVT in the nation. One intervention is outreach programs in vocational skills training and village enterprise development. These outreach programs are described, their functions given and proposed outcomes. One outreach program, still in its pilot phase, has been started. This program is described along with its functions and implementation schedule.
Other interventions mentioned include the development of learning packages through radio broadcasts, a TEVT loan fund, and a credit program for the technically skilled and educated unemployed. The distance education program includes the development of self-instructional materials (SIMs). Most of these broadcasts and SIMs are related to agriculture as Nepal is more than 90 percent rural. However, these learning packages will also include employment promotion and income generation topics such as managing a family business, providing some numeracy skills as well.
The TEVT loan fund is to provide opportunity to deserving individuals to learn a trade through attending a technical institution. Also there are many technically skilled individuals who are neither wage or self-employed due to inadequate capital to start their own business. A credit scheme is proposed which will enable start-up funds for such individuals.
This paper is presented into the following three main parts:
· Who are the disadvantaged?
· What does literature say regarding the role of TEVT in the development process, especially for disadvantaged groups?
· Present plans for implementing TEVT programs for the disadvantaged in rural areas of Nepal.
1. WHO ARE THE DISADVANTAGED?
To address disadvantaged groups in the context of technical and vocational education, is not particular to the Asian Region nor to Nepal in spite of its low rank in the world's economy. In some way or other, all individuals could be put into some kind of disadvantaged group. However, in the context of this paper, I have identified seven groups to consider as being disadvantaged, which are all common to situations in our individual settings. Along with identifying these various groups, issues common to the groups are discussed, general issues from literature, and then planned interventions in Nepal with which I am familiar.
Seven disadvantaged groups are identified below, the illiterate, rural, economically poor, handicapped, women, children and low caste. Along with identification, a brief description is made of the groups. Although many of the individual groups share commonalties, they are discussed separately. Examples of commonalities include:
· More illiterate individuals are found in rural than in urban areas.
· Most of the rural illiterates are economically poor women.
· Among the economically poor in Nepal, most are low caste.
Therefore, to suggest a most disadvantaged group, may be an economically poor illiterate rural low caste woman.
Although it is beyond the scope of this paper, the vicious circle of disadvantaged societies, countries and environments should not be forgotten. For example, population pressure can cause erosion. Erosion can cause a fragile environment which can cause food deficit. A poor nation, as a short-term solution, may take measures harmful to its environment. For example, Nepal has a fragile environment. It is also encouraging tourism to provide much needed foreign exchange. As a result, there is literally tons of garbage in the Mount Everest area and the forests are all but denuded due to tourists demanding hot baths and exotic foods which is speeding up the process of environmental degradation.
1.1 The Illiterate
Illiterate people are disadvantaged because they are very often restricted from TEVT programs, being unable to meet entrance qualifications. If they were to be accepted, many would be further disadvantaged by being asked to give a written evaluation.
1.2 The Rural
Many rural people are disadvantaged due to TEVT programs being inappropriate to their situations. Many rural people also are uninformed about training programs.
1.3 The Economically Poor
The individuals who may need skill training most urgently may not have the finances to pay the required fees. Even if there are no course fees, opportunity costs are a reality. Many may not have the academic qualification to participate in TEVT programs due to inability to pay for a qualifying academic background.
1.4 The Handicapped
Many training programs do not have facilities which are accessible to handicapped persons. Other training programs may require unnecessary activities which certain handicapped individuals would not be able to perform.
Individuals can be excluded from various TEVT programs due to gender. For example, the expected role of men being welders may exclude women. Note should also be made that the reverse may also be true by men being excluded from other training programs, for example beautician training.
Children are a disadvantaged group. As TEVT programs often do not target children, individuals who are disadvantaged at a young age often are not able to qualify for TEVT programs later in life. Many rural or economically poor children in Nepal have not had the basic right of primary education and are therefore unqualified to enter TEVT programs later in life.
In certain societies, low caste individuals have suffered discrimination. Many have been excluded from skill training due to their assigned social level. However, it should also be noted that the reverse may also be true. For example, in Nepal, low caste groups have been assigned as craftsmen, leather workers, blacksmiths and tailors. High caste individuals are looked down on with family not allowing their members to take part of skill training in trades traditionally assigned to the low castes.
2. TEVT LITERATURE REGARDING THE DISADVANTAGED
What does literature say regarding the role of TEVT and the disadvantaged? A literature review was conducted and a summary of the major points given below. The full literature review is in the appendix.
2.1 Importance of Literacy for the Disadvantaged.
Literacy is very important for improving the lot of the disadvantaged. Many governments are shifting the economic and social responsibility for improving literacy rates to the community and individuals, away from the traditional government supported educational systems.
2.2 History of TEVT for the Disadvantaged.
Education, in particular technical and vocational education, has had a positive effect on the development of individuals and nations as a whole. Many studies refer to increased agriculture production as a result of increased education.
2.3 Education and its Impact on Women.
Education for girls, especially primary education, has favorable effects on the next generation's health, fertility, and education.
· In spite of the recognized benefits of education for girls, educational bias is still evident in most developing countries.
· Educating girls may be the best investment that a country can make for their future economic growth.
2.4 Public Vocational Education vs. Skills Training.
Vocational and technical schools often find it difficult to get the right balance between general pre-employment training and provision of specialized skills, and are often slow to adjust to an economy's changing needs.
2.5 Secondary Vocational Schools vs. Non-formal Training Systems.
There is a trend of moving away from secondary vocational schools in favor of non-formal training systems, including village-based training centers, private sector training, and apprenticeship training.
2.6 Incorporating TEVT Programs into National Planning.
Technical Education and Vocational Training is currently popular among policy-makers but it is difficult to include TEVT programs in national planning strategies.
· Vocational graduates do not always follow the career for which they were trained.
· It is impossible to predict the number of vocational graduates needed for a particular economy.
· Courses need to be flexible and sensitive to the varying and constantly changing local needs and market signals.
3. TOWARDS ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF THE DISADVANTAGED
All of the issues mentioned in the previous section are presently facing Nepal as it prepares an effective workforce for its development. In addition, the role of micro-enterprise and small industry development is being recognized as important ingredients for the development of Nepal. In particular, it has become apparent to many that such types of activities will be especially important among the rural and disadvantaged groups.
In the Eighth 5-Year Plan (1992-1997) and in the upcoming Ninth 5-Year Plan of His Majesty's Government of Nepal, poverty alleviation is the single most important goal for the nation. The main strategy for the alleviation of poverty is the generation of employment opportunities, with a subsequent increase in income across the broadest possible spectrum of the population. In Nepal, unemployment and a high level of underemployment continues to characterize all sectors of the economy, with the highest levels being among women and the rural poor. Therefore, effective strategies for employment promotion are imperative. Yet these strategies must be appropriate, in that they must be supported by training inputs designed to raise local capabilities given the high rate of illiteracy and the shortage of productive skills in the country and to ensure that the employment opportunities made available are aimed at the people of Nepal.
Below are a number of ideas which the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) in Nepal, is presently considering which is hoped will address the needs of the disadvantaged.
3.1 Vocational Training and Community Development
With the overall national objectives targeted for the 8th five year plan, CTEVT sought assistance to design and implement the vocational training and community development activities is the rural areas for disadvantaged group of people, specially low cast and women within this plan period. Danish Association for International Co-operation, (a Danish INGO) came to assist CTEVT for this type of work with DANIDA funding. Bhimad of Tanahu and Khudi of Lamjung districts were choosen as the proper site for this pilot projects.
The objectives of this project is to Contribute to economic and social development in the districts of Tanahu and Lamjung by enabling poor women and poor men of the catchment areas of the districts to improve their living conditions with rural based Vocational Training combined with Community Development activities.
Both of the centers started their activities with need assessment and mobile vocational training. Sanitation, hygiene and providing safe drinking water got priority and other vocational training such as improving their skill in carpentry, masonary and shoe making. In agriculture vegetable and fruit production, nursery development, chicken and goat rearing with improve variety, pig farming were taken as mobile training with necessary funds for their improvement: This VTCD program is considered in its mid term review.
Thus CTEVT has contributed for fulfilling the national target set out in the 8th plan period. This can be taken out in the other parts of the country to help people in both ways giving them skill with vocational training and with small amount of seed money to start income generating activities which helps the community with social and economical advancement.
3.2 Outreach Programs in Vocational Skills Training and Village Enterprise Development.
Nepal, through its Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), has a network of rural technical schools. The Council is now considering the establishment of outreach Village Enterprise Development Centers in rural clusters of communities. Each CTEVT technical school would supervise the establishment and management of a center within its catchment area. Each outreach center is expected to catalyze and support the creation and development of at least 100 village enterprises and income generating projects a year. Each center is also expected to provide skills training to at least 500 individuals per year from the surrounding rural communities. These centers would be mobile and would move every two or three years to bring skills to new areas. It should be noted that these catchment areas are large and many of them have no infrastructure such as roads and electricity.
These centers will operate as extension units of the technical schools. In partnership with the communities they will provide vocational and enterprise development training and other related services to members of the rural communities. These rural communities will be outside the regular service delivery from the school. Location criteria will include:
· Must not be less than a one day walk from any technical school.
· Must have the acceptance and the commitment of the rural community.
· Agricultural occupation should be the major source of income.
· The community cluster is one where similar interventions from other agencies is minimum.
· No other similar programs run by other institutions.
Once formed, the centers will perform the following functions:
· Assess and/or validate the training needs of the cluster of communities within the designated catchment area.
· Conduct socio-economic surveys of the communities.
· Network with organizations and agencies providing support services.
· Provide advisory and information services relating to skills acquisition and rural enterprise creation and development.
· Conduct skills training based on assessed needs and the requirements for the communities enhanced economic growth.
· Conduct series of half or one-day seminars on business opportunities.
· Conduct training courses on developing entrepreneurial competencies.
· Conduct seminars on planning and organizing new business enterprises
· Conduct modular and integrated training courses on small business management.
· Conduct training on various income generating projects with emphasis on agriculture.
· Provide support and assistance in the coordination of outreach programs for students of the technical schools' long-term courses.
· Mobilize local community resources needed to conduct the training programs and other activities.
· Conduct training of selected individuals from each of the communities served who will be developed as village experts on specific skills. These village experts will, in turn, train other interested individuals in their respective communities.
· Set up, together with communities, demonstrations or models for schemes such as kitchen gardens, food processing, sericulture or bee keeping. These will then be operated and managed by the communities.
· Manage a revolving fund for buying and selling, on an installment basis, basic tools and equipment needed by graduates of the training programs to start their rural enterprises of their income generating projects.
The proposed outcome will be creation and development of at least 100 village enterprises and/or income generating projects providing employment to at least 200 individuals per year as well as provision of skills training to at least 500 individuals resulting in their enhanced capacity for wage or self-employment.
3.2.1 A Pilot Outreach Program.
A pilot program initiating this concept, called the Karnali Community Skill Training Program (KCST), has already started in cooperation with an INGO called the United Mission to Nepal. This pilot program is located in one of the remotest, least developed areas of Nepal. While significant progress has been made in meeting technical manpower needs in the public sector, the vocational skill training needs of the primarily pre-literate population, is mainly untouched. There are large numbers of cohesive ethnic groups, who, while being economically and socially marginalized, represent an untapped wealth of human resource potential. The program seeks to enlarge the capacity of women and other poor, marginalized and under served groups to develop their full human potential. The location of the pilot program is one days walk from the Karnali Technical School (KTS). According to local needs, KCST seeks to:
· Raise awareness through adult literacy classes and other means.
· impart survival skills to improve the quality of life.
· increase individual productivity.
· Upgrade skills of traditional craftsmen.
· Provide follow-up development resources.
The implementation schedule of the program is as follows:
July - December 1995:
· Job descriptions prepared and recruitment of staff.
· Confirmation of KCST working area.
· Village Development Committee (VDC) Advisory Committees formed.
· Villages selected and adult/community education committee formed.
· Village level trainers selected and trained.
· Location of each class chosen.
· Awareness raising and motivating activities leading to formation of literacy classes.
January - December 1996 (Presently Being Undertaken)
· Initiate up to 30 Adult Education basic literacy classes in the selected VDCs
· Conduct six, monthly evaluations of the program and staff.
· Towards the end of this period, skill training sessions will be started in areas identified by the groups.
· Set annual work targets and carry out annual review.
· Work closely with KTS to plan and gain from the KCST the maximum benefit for KTS students.
January - December 1997 (Plan for the Coming Year)
· Start post-basic classes in all existing village groups.
· Facilitate each class to identify areas of need and subsequent matching of local resources and outside input.
· Develop the village level technical training activities, given by KTS students as part of their training, but aimed solely at the identified needs of the community.
· Carry out six, monthly evaluations of program and staff.
· Identify three new VDCs and begin second round of activities.
· Comprehensive assessment of the program.
· Major program involvement in initial three VDCs will be phased out.
January 1988 - July 2000 (Future Plans)
· Begin activities in new VDCs as done in 1996.
· Repeat of activities as detailed in 1995 leading up to the formation of literacy classes.
· Follow-up visits to the first areas served by the program.
· External evaluation carried out in the initial area to determine if program objectives were met.
· At the end of the period, an overall evaluation will be conducted with recommendations as to any ongoing involvement or extension.
3.3 Other Interventions to Meet the Needs of the Disadvantaged.
Three other interventions are mentioned which CTEVT hopes to initiate soon. These include the development of learning packages through radio broadcasts, a TEVT loan fund and a credit program for the technically skilled and educated unemployed.
3.3.1 Development of Learning Packages through Radio Broadcasts.
It must be kept in mind that more than 90 percent of Nepal's people derive their livelihood from agriculture. Most of these people are subsistence farmers living in the remote regions of the country. In fact, these people often live many days walk from the nearest road or service facility such as hospital or phone. Most of the available land is in use and there is high population pressure on the land causing farmers to take ever increasing environmental risk by cultivating steeper and steeper slopes.
Therefore, it is being proposed that, in the initial year, learning packages for a total of 50 skills spread over general areas such as vegetable farming, cash crops, fruit tree growing, mushrooms, bee keeping, food processing, as well as rural services such as tailoring, health care, cooking, plumbing, carpentry, welding and other cottage and small industries such as bread making, shoemaking leathercraft, weaving, bamboo crafts, furniture making, garments, lodge management, trek and tour guiding, brick and tile making etc. Similarly, learning packages would be developed on managerial aspects such as project identification and selection, business plan preparation, managing a family business, costing, accounting etc. It is planned that reviewed and pre-tested learning packages would then be broadcast over Nepal's radio station in 30 minute time blocks. Cost will, as much as possible, be borne by sponsors and advertisements.
Complementing the radio broadcasts, will be self-instructional materials (SIMs) to be made available to the target listeners or communities at affordable prices. For the illiterate and semi-literate target groups, these SIMs will make use of illustrations, diagrams and examples with minimum text or words. Therefore, each set of broadcast learning packages will have a corresponding set of SIMs. These SIMs will cover all the learning points included in the broadcast, but will emphasize areas where broadcast, as a medium, has inherent weaknesses in effectively getting the learning points across. In addition to SIMs, other instructional and support materials, particularly cassette tapes, will be developed. These materials will target training groups operating in the rural areas, such as KCST, and will complement the radio broadcasts and the SIMs. The cost of the SIMs, and other instructional materials, will be partly covered from sales revenues.
To support the proposed distance education program on skills development for income generation, all players within the entire institutional framework, will be encouraged to render advisory, monitoring, information, and supplemental training services to the target groups, with each district having a resource center in an existing facility.
3.3.2. TEVT Loan Fund.
Due to limitations in financial resources, as well as due to high failure rates in passing general school exams, many deserving young people are not able to obtain technical skills training courses. The establishment of a TEVT Student Loan Fund is aimed at addressing the problem. This fund will aim to provide opportunities to deserving young people who desire to avail themselves of technical skills training courses by technical schools but can not do so due to financial reasons. It will be designed to enable deserving young people to study now and pay later. Only indigent students will be able to borrow under the fund. The family's landholdings must not be more than 0.5 hectare and their income must fall under the poverty line level. Applicants to the Fund must be endorsed by their respective VDCs which will also certify that their economic status falls within the target group of the fund. Each VDC will be entitled to endorse a maximum of one application per year. Methods are still being sought to ensure that indigent students, who have no collateral or group support, will ensure repayment. Repayment will have a maximum grace period of two years after graduation and it is assumed that within these two years, the borrowers will already have obtained a gainful source of income. The Fund will be placed under the management of the Agricultural Development Bank of Nepal which has an extensive network of branches all over the country.
3.3.3. Credit Program for the Technically Skilled and Educated Unemployed.
Most of the micro credit programs presently in operation in Nepal attend to the needs of disadvantaged and the rural poor. These programs' features are rigidly designed and do not allow for the needs of other disadvantaged groups to be adequately addressed. In particular, the needs of the technically skilled and educated unemployed to enhance their income generating capability through the utilization of their skills and knowledge in undertaking small business or income generating projects are currently not adequately addressed, either by the commercial credit sector or by the village banking sector. The target beneficiaries are the graduates of long-term and short-term technical, managerial, and entrepreneurship courses recognized by CTEVT. Only loan applications for purposes of setting up a small enterprise or an income generating project would be accepted. Most loans will have to be completely secured. However, collateral free loans of up to almost US $1000 to those who do not have collateral to offer, will be available. Certification will have to be obtained from the Chairperson of the District Development Committee upon the endorsement of the Head of the VDC where the borrower comes from. It is expected that at least 750 new enterprises will be annually financed from the Loan Fund and that employment opportunities for at least 2250 technically skilled and educated unemployed people per year will be generated by these new enterprises.
3.4 Some Other Interventions to Meet the Needs of the Disadvantaged.
Under the Ministry of Industry, the main agencies dealing with this issue are Department of Cottage and Small Industries (DCSI) and Small Industries Development Board (SIDB). Both perform similar task but in the different parts of the country. The main task they perform is to provide training in various trades to people selected by their village development committees. In 1994/95, 9196 people completes courses. More than 50 percent of these were rural women.
With financial and technical assistance from UNDP and ILO respectively, the Training for Rural Employment (TRE) project is being jointly implemented by DCSI and SIDB. The objectives is to promote socio-economic development through off-farm wage employment, group employment, and self- employment opportunities by implementing community based training programmes for micro enterprise development.
Skill Development Centres under the Ministry of Labour provide skill and managerial training to different disadvantaged groups for promotion of employment.
The Ministry of Local Development is also involved in employment generation through Production Credit of Rural Women, which extends credit to rural women for setting up self- employment pursuits, following group organization and training. The Women's Skill Training Centers under the MOLD conduct various courses aimed at rural women. In 1994/95, 4130 women attended the courses.
There is also a large number of INGOs, NGOs and Commercial Banks who provide skill training and micro-credit to different disadvantaged groups in the country.
Training and employment have to go hand in hand. Assessment of local capabilities, needs, resources and raw materials vis-a-vis market potential is necessary for evolving suitable training programmes for employment generation.
In conclusion, there are disadvantaged groups throughout society. These groups of individuals can be raised by providing skill training opportunities, and then supporting them through income generation and employment promotion. Activities in Nepal are emphasizing CTEVT's coordination, promotion and regulation roles to take advantage of employment opportunities as they develop in the modern sector and to promote income generating opportunities and employment in the informal sector, particularly among the rural disadvantaged groups. It is hoped that this conference can be a catalyst toward a process which will enable TEVT to meet the needs of our marginalized people.
2. TEVT LITERATURE REGARDING THE DISADVANTAGED.
2.1. Importance of Literacy for the Disadvantaged.
Harrison (1987) noted that illiteracy:
is not only a disqualification for better-paid employment in offices or factories. It is not only a cultural deprivation... from national life, and in some countries from voting. It is also a political fact, a handicap for disadvantaged individuals and groups in the bitter struggle for advantage and survival in the third world. To be illiterate is to be helpless in a modern state run by way of complex laws and regulations. The man who cannot read or write is at the mercy of those who can...if he is a farmer he has to rely on other people to tell him new seeds are available...he is a sitting duck for exploitation and fraud...he can be cheated out of his inheritance. Illiteracy is a personal tragedy, and a powerful force in preserving inequalities and oppression. Its extent in the modern world is one measure of the ground third world education still has to cover (p. 304-305).
Many developing countries are shifting more economic and social responsibility to the individual. Village communities are being established for this purpose. Tanzania's leaders, for example, have mandated that once a person becomes literate, it is his or her duty and responsibility to teach others to become literate.
The world is ever changing and humankind must respond to these changes. It affects all levels of people and all levels of human endeavor. In many ways, it impacts the disadvantaged the greatest. While the 'advantaged' moves forward toward ever increasingly sophisticated technology, the disadvantaged are running to catch up. In fact, at times it seems that as development occurs, the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged increases.
Every individual is born with a collection of abilities and talents. Education, in its many forms, has the potential of fulfillment and application. In some societies, the economic function of schooling is regarded as minor, since the cultivation of the mind and the spirit, curiosity, contemplation, and reasoning have more than economic purposes and justifications. Schooling imparts specific knowledge and develops general reasoning skills. It also induces changes in beliefs and values, and in attitudes towards work and society. On-the-job training, informal education, and technical and vocational education all build on learning abilities acquired earlier (The World Bank, 1980).
2.2. History of TEVT for the Disadvantaged.
Bhattrai (1987) suggested the need for educational reform by noting the context in which education was initiated by the colonial rulers in the third world countries in the past. It was meant to consolidate and perpetuate colonial rule and popularize its language and culture rather than to develop the colony. Bhattrai charged that the present education system in most third world countries is a legacy of the past colonial education systems. Khaleel (1990) noted the consistent labor shortage in Nigeria and the over dependence on expatriates which has made their society become increasingly critical of the educational system inherited from the colonial era. Then the global recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s resulted in unemployment. The leaders of government and society then turned to technical and vocational education to at least cushion the effect of unemployment. Only then was it realized that the one important area of national development that had been neglected was education, in particular, vocational-technical education. Khaleel quoted the vice chancellor of a national university as saying that the nation's survival and salvation lay in practical education, education useful both to the society and to the individual. This situation has resulted in the developed world retaining power and is the reason third world students flock to the West to obtain training-many of whom fail to return to their country of origin, thus contributing to the 'brain drain' phenomenon. Scholars who do return to their countries of origin often find that the knowledge acquired and or the equipment used are neither transferable nor contextual. This leads to dependence on the West for goods and services as well as for training, thus robbing the developing countries of indigenous systems of education and development.
Bhattrai (1987) suggested that this question of educational inequality involves the issue of social justice. He also noted education in Nepal as being held by a minority elite and said that education is an asset which increases the income and knowledge of its holder (p. 43). Skill development is related to employment and production. Bhattrai suggested that those who get the right amount of employment oriented education come out of the bondage of poverty as soon as they are employed (p. 43).
Bhattrai (1987) noted that basic human needs are met by both income and knowledge and that technical and vocational education plays an important role in both aspects. He suggested that life skills such as the knowledge of health, safe drinking water, nutrition, family planning, and production skills all come from education and training. Yet, general science and mathematics should receive a high priority in any curriculum as it is science and technology that increases the productivity of the worker. Warnock (1988) suggested that schools have an obligation to prepare people for what they will do in life. Foster's (1965) view that investment should not be made in technical and vocational education, is changing. Psacharopoulos (1987) said that technical and vocational education is a supportable notion and predicted that vocationalism will be with us for years to come.
2.3. Education and its Impact on Women.
Education, even at the primary level, promotes disciplined work habits and responsiveness to further training. Primary education, especially of girls, has favorable effects on the next generation's health, fertility, and education. The World Bank (1980) suggested that educating girls may be one of the best investments a country can make in future economic growth, even if girls never enter the labor force. Most girls become mothers, and their influence, much more than the father's, is crucial on their children, which in turn influences all future generations. The IEES (1988) assessment noted that the education of women in particular, raises both the effectiveness of their economic contribution and lowers their fertility rate. The women who remain illiterate or have only primary education, are known to marry two years earlier than ones with lower secondary education (NPC, 1987). The girl without lower secondary education has few attractive alternatives other than rearing children (IEES, 1988). Educational bias is evident in most of the Third World. In many cultures, parents fear that education will harm their daughter's marriage prospects, subsequent domestic life, and even spiritual qualities. A girl's education brings fewer economic benefits as she has no economic benefit to her parents after marriage.
2.4. Public Vocational Education vs. Skill Training.
The World Bank (1980) noted that experience shows that it is often inefficient to rely heavily on schools, as opposed to the workplace and short-term training institutions, to develop vocational skills. Vocational and technical schools often find it difficult to get the right balance between general pre-employment training and the provision of specialized skills, and are often slow to adjust to the economy's changing needs. By contrast, institutions that provide training in skills with wide applicability as a foundation for later on-the-job training or short-term courses, are more likely to be successful.
Middleton et al. (1991) suggested that in the modern sector, public vocational education has not been an effective measure to reach the poor. These are people who can least afford to be out of employment for several years. Rather, vocational schools have become second-best options for academically well-qualified students who are not necessarily poor (p. 16).
Ishumi (1988) quoted Tanzania's former President, Nyerere, as saying that the villages must be economic as well as social and educational communities. That each school should have, as an integral part of it, a farm or workshop which would provide the food eaten by the community and, at the same time, making some contribution to the total national income in the national policy of self-reliance.
Eisemon and Nyamete (1990) reported that agriculture in Kenya is at the point where farmers need to know human and plant biology. This makes the teaching of agriculture increasingly important in using modern agricultural inputs. The teaching of these concepts must begin in the primary schools as many individuals in the least developed countries do not even complete elementary school. If individuals are to be trained, it must be done prior to completion of secondary school.
Education has been recognized as a vital factor in national development. This has led to rapid growth of education systems in least developed countries. Much of this education is being presented informally. Middleton (1988) noted that many governments provide vocational training in specialized institutions in order to meet manpower needs. Such training usually has high unit costs. They also are complex in setting up and servicing, requiring a concentration of resources (Lauglo and Lillis, 1988).
2.5. Secondary Vocational Schools vs. Non-formal Training Systems.
Middleton (1988) reported that the World Bank is moving away from investment in secondary vocational schools in favor of non-formal training systems in the least developed countries. During the period from 1973 to 1976, The World Bank provided 28 percent of its investment to vocational and technical education at the secondary diversified level and 26 percent in the non-formal sector. During the period 1987 to 1988, no funding was provided for secondary diversified education while 77 percent was for the non-formal sectors (Middleton et al., 1991).
Fuller (1976), from his context in India, noted that workers who mastered their trade in a firm were more productive than workers who graduated from a vocational institute. He also cited the argument of substantially higher per-trainee costs in vocational schools when compared to informal training programs. The study provided further evidence that in-employment training is more effective and less costly than pre-employment vocational training in preparing workers for certain trades.
Haddad, Carnoy, Rinaldi, and Regel (1990) cited numerous colleagues who challenged the notion that skill training in vocational schools was the best educational investment strategy for economic development or that it was the most cost effective way to impart those skills. They challenged the World Bank's recommendations which, until recently, considered vocational schools as the way forward for the least developed countries.
2.6. Incorporating TEVT Programs into National Planning.
Many least developed countries have incorporated vocational education into their national five year plans. With the least developed countries attempting to catch up with the West, or at least to the newly industrialized countries (NIC), there seems to be an urgency to obtain more labor efficiency from its people - this being done by placing emphasis on human resources.
Psacharopoulos (1988) noted that vocational graduates do not always follow the career for which they were trained. Another problem is the impossibility of predicting the number of vocational graduates needed by a particular economy. This can affect unemployment levels. The substitution possibilities between vocational and other skills being high, should provide a positive effect on unemployment. Technical and vocational education can provide a viable solution to unemployment.
Technical and vocational education's popularity among policymakers, in part, comes from its social function. It tends to be substituted for students who do not succeed academically. Policymakers want to prepare these less academically able students for some sort of practical work and to reduce the pressure on higher education by making technical and vocational education terminal. Ishumi (1988) noted a shift in Tanzania's vocational system from monotechnics to polytechnics to give a broader-based individual; a balanced skills training approach that recognized both rural and urban community, as well as market needs. This would include a more flexible program of course offerings that would be sensitive to the varying and constantly changing local needs and market signals. This was echoed by. King (1988) who said that, The challenge, before tightening the bonds between education, training, and work, is to insure that training institutions are more responsive to a very wide range of work facing young people in developing countries (p. 161).
2.7. Planning TEVT for the Disadvantaged in Nepal.
Similar issues are presently facing Nepal as it prepares an effective workforce for its development. In Nepal, an attempt at formulating a clear policy of technical education and vocational training is only recent. Now is the time to examine various methodologies to meet the technical and vocational needs of the disadvantaged.
Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world with a per capita income of around US $170..The UNDP report of 1991 ranks Nepal sixteenth from the bottom on the human development index. The economy of Nepal is based on agriculture which accounts for nearly 80 percent of total employment and about 50 percent of the gross domestic product. The literacy rate of 39 percent is one of the lowest in Asia. The literacy rate of women is estimated to be as low as 18 percent and in the rural areas as low as two percent. The majority of women in Nepal live in extremely harsh conditions with little or no medical care. They work as a caregiver and they also provide labor to the agricultural pursuits of the family. CTEVT has two responsibilities in regard to the women of Nepal:
According the World Bank Country Study, Nepal, Poverty and Incomes, 1991, between seven and eight million people live in absolute poverty (defined as the income below the level required to support a minimum daily calorie intake). Underemployment is the rule rather than the exception.
The government of Nepal, in its 8th Five-year Plan which covers the period of mid-1992 to mid-1997, announced that poverty alleviation would be given the highest priority in its development goals, strategies and policies. To accomplish this, major emphasis has been given to employment and income generation with particular attention being paid to the problems of women, children and other economically disadvantaged groups.
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