|International Advisory Committee - Final Report - 1st Session (UNEVOC, 1993, 22 p.)|
The Assistant Director-General for Education pointed out that all discussions should be centred on the following three main themes:
· educational policy;
· links between technical and vocational education and the world of work;
· financial implications.
Discussion were focused on the main problems presently encountered in the field of technical and vocational education i.e.:
· adjustments between the labour market and the educational system; (increasing number of young people enroling in higher education, which cannot be absorbed by the labour market, the profile of the technicians trained does not correspond to present-day economic life etc.);
· technical and vocational education still remains the poor relative in many education systems to-day, although it is of considerable importance for the social and economic development of the Member States, as well as human beings;
The committee felt that the promotion of technical and vocational education is not only one of the key factors to overcome the inequality between the different streams in the education system, but also to reduce world-wide unemployment, economic recession and migration.
Existing infrastructures and financial resources for technical and vocational education are, in many cases, inadequate to solve this problem. The low social status of technical and vocational education, the lack of vertical articulation, the high cost of technical and vocational education all act to prevent technical and vocational education from assuming a more central role ion economic and social development.
UNEVOC should endeavour to promote the establishment of strategies and policies for the improvement of flexible and, where applicable, decentralized technical and vocational education systems of high quality. This could also include adequate definitions of profile and level of competence, as well as the provision of vocational guidance.
UNEVOC should also deal with formal and non-formal technical education systems. In this respect, co-operation between formal and non-formal training systems, with enterprises and social partners in order to define strategies and policies should be encouraged and re-informed.
Taking into account that UNEVOC is a project with a specific mandate, with limited human and financial resources, it was generally agreed that its success will largely depend on intensive international cooperation involving the Member States, UN Specialized Agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, making use of existing expertise, structures and networks. UNEVOC should act as a focal point, playing a catalytic role for the development of policies and strategies in technical and vocational education.
UNESCO Headquarters will continue to be responsible for overall planning and execution of the UNEVOC project, whose activities will be carried, in co-operation with the UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin and UNESCOs Regional Offices for Education.
The Committee recommended that, based on the results of the first phase of the project, activities for the forthcoming biennium will be centred on the following three major areas:
· attractiveness and status of technical and vocational education within the education system;
· fostering links between technical and vocational education, industry and the labour market;
· the development of technical and vocational education systems.
These activities should be implemented by a series of actions, such as case studies, comparative studies, meetings, conferences, periodicals, technical documents and the development of a network of specialized institutions.
It was generally agreed that the programme areas decided by the UNESCO General Conference at its 26th session, formed a suitable framework for the UNEVOC project for the forthcoming biennium.
improving the attractiveness and status of technical and vocational education within the education system
Improvement of the economic and status of those undergoing technical and vocational education by:
· establishment of a framework of qualifications for all levels of work and skills;
· securing vertical and horizontal articulation (i.e. by leading the way to higher education for certified skilled workers);
· inclusion of elements of technical and vocational education in general education;
· the equal access of girls and women to occupations traditionally held by men;
· providing greater opportunities for the access of disadvantaged groups to technical and vocational education;
· providing vocational guidance to include options in technical and vocational education;
· improving the quality of teachers and instructors;
· enhancing the managerial capability of administrators in technical and vocational education systems and the inclusion of entrepreneurial skills in curricula.
Fostering links between technical and vocational education, industry and the labour market
Fostering links between technical and vocational education, and industry ad the labour market through policies, strategies and cooperative programmes aimed at:
· reinforcing collaboration between vocational schools on the one hand and enterprises (particularly small and medium-sized) on the other;
· co-ordinating private training with the public technical and vocational education system;
· motivating industry to provide technical and vocational education and/or share costs;
· promoting job creation, entrepreneurial skills, self-employment and the informal sector, and
· emphasizing areas undergoing rapid changes, such as environmental education, health education, technology - in particular food processing technology and bio-technology and energy resources.
Promotion of international exchange of experiences on technical and vocational education systems by:
· identification and application of methods to facilitate the comparison between different technical and vocational education systems, including criteria on evaluation and cost-effectiveness;
· promotion and dissemination of teaching and training methods in technical and vocational education;
· improvement of management of technical and vocational education systems by exchange of ideas in this field;
Emphasis should be made on:
· initial training for young persons in both the formal and informal sectors, as well as continuing education in respect of new technological developments:
· training of women in occupations traditionally dominated by men;
· alternative training methods for those unable to attend regular courses or for those with special needs, particularly in the informal sector (i.e. through open and distance education).
Discussion on programme Areas
Based on the information available on the current development of the Project, the Committee recommended carrying out a set of actions within the three Programme Areas and proposed focusing primarily on the following activities:
Activities under programme Area A: International exchange of ideas and experiences, and studies on policy issues
· consultation on factors which determine the role of technical and vocational education in education systems
In June 1993, a consultation was held in order to identify factors, both inside and outside national education systems, which determine the role of technical and vocational education;
· case studies
Based on the results of this consultation, case studies should be undertaken with a number of countries on the role the factors identified play in particular national structures.
· synthesis of case studies
a synthesis of these case studies should be prepared during 1995;
· symposia on the results
the results of the case studies should be disseminated to policy-makers in a series of symposia, which, if possible, should be held in the major regions of the world: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.
· comparative studies on policy and legislation
comparative studies should be undertaken on policy and legislation which enhance cooperation between education and the world of work in different sectors of the economy. A synthesis of these should be prepared and conclusions drawn during the symposia mentioned above.
* a symposium on future trends in continuing technical and vocational education and re-training, which corresponds to the emerging needs of the twenty-first century has been proposed.
* a European symposium on co-operation between Western and Central/Eastern Europe on technical and vocational education policies could be held, to be financed mainly by the French national authorities.
Activities under Programme Area B: strengthening of national research and development capabilities
· international Workshop on curriculum development in technical and vocational education
different methods of curriculum development in technical and vocational education were analyzed during an international workshop which was held in August/September 1993;
· modernization, updating and adaptation of curricula
the above-mentioned methods should be discussed in the regions in order to modernize and up-date curricula. Particular attention should be given to methods of adaptation of existing curricula to meet the needs of particular countries.
· case studies on co-operation between technical and vocational education and the world of work in respect of training
different mechanisms for co-operation between technical and vocational education institutions and the world of work on training aspects should be examined in a series of case studies and synthesis should be prepared and disseminated to policy-makers.
Existing case studies on the relevance of vocational information and guidance should be disseminated through the network. The organization of an international seminar might be explored based on the reactions to these case studies.
Future activities might also be oriented on problems concerning the management of technical and vocational education institutions
Activities under Programme Area C: facilitating access to data bases and documentation
A quarterly newsletter should be published which will provide information on events, conferences, training seminars, publications, curricula and other relevant materials internationally available, provide profiles on selected UNEVOC network institutions, as well as information on access to and utilization of existing data bases. It should be published in both English and French and the translation into other languages encouraged. The first issue should be include a general description of the UNEVOC Project, as well as on the first session of the International Advisory Committee.
An international periodical should be published twice yearly in both English and French. It should concentrate on the key areas of the UNEVOC Project, which are of interest to the international community in technical and vocational education.
An inventory of technical and vocational education institutions participating in the UNEVOC network as focal points should be prepared and disseminated. Data on more than sixty institutions is already available.
· Computerized data
Materials (working papers, articles etc.) and data bases (statistical data, documentation, inventory of institutions) should be made available on floppy disks or through similar electronic media. Where applicable, UNESCOs CDS/ISIS documentation software should be used. The needs of the less well developed countries should be particularly taken into account and emphasis placed on making existing data more accessible.
· Networking - initial phase
Within the framework of the UNEVOC Project, a pilot venture will be launch to link selected national, regional and international institutions, using modern and low-cost communication techniques, with a view to facilitating mutual exchange of information as well as the utilization of existing data bases and documentation.
· Regional workshops
Regional workshops should serve to identify specific local needs for networking in terms of content and the operation of the networks within the general framework of the UNEVOC Project. The outcome of these workshops should be communicated to the Member States.
· Networking - second phase
After the initial or pilot phase, which will include no more than about two institutions per region, it is intended to expand the network to all interested specialized institutions and to interlink it with existing documentation centres.
Co-operation with Member states, the International Labour Organisation, and other institutions in the implementation of the UNEVOC Project
A number of participants announced their support to the UNEVOC Project, on behalf of their Member States or organizations:
· The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is prepared, during the 1994-1995 biennium, to continue its considerable technical, financial and logistic support to the Project and the UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin.
· France offered to host and provide financial assistance towards the organization of a European Symposium on cooperation between Western and Central/Eastern Europe in November 1994.
· The ILO offered to strengthen co-operation with UNESCO within the framework of the UNEVOC Project.
· The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) offered to provide the UNEVOC Implementation Unit in Berlin with relevant documentation and other materials.
· The UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg offered its co-operation in the field of adult and continuing education, particularly in the organization of an international conference on vocational guidance to be held during the next biennium.
Recommendations to the Director-General
The International Advisory Committee unanimously adopted the following recommendations to the Director-General:
1. Because of the relatively low priority given in many Member States, technical and vocational education systems cannot develop sufficiently to meet the pressing needs of their economic, social and human resources development. The International Advisory Committee recommends that UNESCOs Draft Programme and Budget for 1994-1995 should take greater account of this deficiency and provide an appropriate level of support.
The International Advisory Committee therefore deems it indispensable that:
· the General Conference give the highest possible priority to technical and vocational education in the coming decade;
· UNESCOs programme on technical and vocational education be retained as a separate sub-programme as is the case in the present (1992-1993) biennium;
· allocations from the regular budget for technical and vocational education be increased significantly in order to allow the UNEVOC Project to be undertaken as recommended by the International Advisory Committee;
· the participation of other United Nations agencies, in particular the ILO, in the implementation of the UNEVOC Project, be promoted in co-operation with other regional and international organizations engaged in the development of technical and vocational education;
· Member States, as well as donor agencies, be invited to take an active part in promoting the UNEVOC Project;
· Member States be advised to have appropriate persons representing technical and vocational education on their National Commissions; and
· consideration be given to adding Spanish to the two working languages of the UNEVOC Project;
2. The International Advisory Committee invites the Director-General to submit this report and recommendations on the UNEVOC project to the UNESCO General Conference at its 27th session in October/November 1993.