|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.)|
Paper presented at
UNESCO-UNEVOC Regional Meeting on Policy Development and Implementation of TVE for Economic Development in Asia and the Pacific
RMIT, Melbourne, 11-15 November 1996
Specialist in Technical and Vocational Education
ACEID, UNESCO PROAP, Bangkok
UNESCO PRINCIPAL REGIONAL OFFICE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (PROAP)
Asia and the Pacific Centre of Educational Innovation for Development (ACEID)
Hon. Dr. David Kemp,
Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is indeed a great honour and a privilege for me to extend to you a very warm welcome on behalf of UNESCO as the auspicious occasion of the opening of this Regional cum International UNESCO-UNEVOC Conference on the Policy Development and Implementation for Economic Development in Asia and the Pacific. We in UNESCO are highly indebted to the Department of Employment, Education and Training and Youth Affairs, the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, the Department of Employment, Education and Training, Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the Adelaide Institute of TAFE and the Canberra and Sydney Institute of Technology for providing excellent co-operation to us in the arrangements of this meeting.
We must admit publicly that this co-operation is in fact the greatest asset for UNESCO and the institutions co-operating with UNESCO in particular the UNEVOC Centres and the national institutes of TAFE and technical education in the various Member States are really our main partners in promoting and strengthening TVE in the region. We value this co-operation and collaboration highly and are always keen to reinforce it in co-operation with Member States and our partner institutes.
It is gratifying for UNESCO to inform you and the distinguished delegates that technical and vocational education and training is now regarded by most countries in the region as being pivotal to their development as it is linked centrally both to training, job creation and employment. However, as everywhere else in the world, technical and vocational education and training is in transition in Asia and the Pacific as well. It is going through a period of intensive change and reorientation. There is a continuous effort in every country of the region to provide students with certain essential skills and knowledge throughout an entire life time. A new pedagogy particularly for technical and vocational education is an emerging immediate need. Attempts are underway to use information technology either as add-on technology components to existing practices and structures or as introduction of new information society related technologies to facilitate the acquisition of appropriate TVET insights and competencies depending on the current level of penetration of information related technological advancements in the work place.
There is a growing realization in countries of the Asia-Pacific region of the need to adapt and readjust technical and vocational education to suit the fast changing requirements of the national, regional and global economies.
(i) A growing collaboration between technical and vocational education authorities and those in industry and the market place is, in fact, progressively becoming a feature of several systems for updating curriculum, equipment and facilities and for introducing new programmes and cost-effective programme delivery approaches.
(ii) There is an ever greater realization in the countries of using the new information society technologies to improve the efficiencies and the outreaches of their systems as well as to make them flexible, learner centred and learner directed and driven so that the TVET could, continue to assist the process of life long learning for all.
(iii) The content of the TVET curricula is also changing rapidly to suit the changing needs of the work place as a result of continuous influx of high tech in methods of production.
(iv) Course designs are moving towards newly evolving mixes of core and elective components as well as competency-based training so that the courses could become more responsive to the needs of rapidly transforming economies.
(v) Priorities in curriculum planning in most countries now emphasize a greater shift on the interfacing of education and productive enterprises, specially orientation and study of business economics for small entrepreneurship and life long education.
(vi) There is a recent trend in many countries to provide contextual learning and also to integrate elements of the traditional disciplines into one single course (for example, mechatronics based on mechanics and electronics in Japan).
(vii) There is greater emphasis in other countries most notably New Zealand and Australia on preparing a multi-skilled work force, on providing the job experience required for upskilling, on creating mechanisms for the recognition of prior learning and credit transfer, introducing competency-based training and on promoting retrainability.
(viii) In many other countries such as the Republic of Korea and Singapore, training content is increasingly selected not only for its relevance to specific jobs but also for job clusters and for the transfer to jobs from related areas in business and industry.
In addition to these general trends, some country specific initiatives in the region relate to:
· Development of National Competency Standards of a National Qualifications Framework in Australia and New Zealand to provide nationally consistent awards, to enable individuals undertaking TVE programmes in the private sector to receive nationally recognized qualifications;
· Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Australia and the widespread application of flexible learning with programme delivery combining on the job training with formal studies in a number of fields to facilitate acquisition of acceptable qualifications and the entry of the technical personnel into the job market;
· Introduction of a system of National Skill Standards (NSS) to improve the standing and quality of TVET programmes in Bangladesh;
· Use of DACUM as a curriculum development tool in China and introduction of Competency-Based Education (CBE) and the dual-system on a trial basis using adaptation to the German model;
· Operation of TVE school managed enterprises run in conjunction to educational programmes in China;
· Centrally directed but locally administered TVET system in India with significant provision for vocational education within the framework of secondary education;
· Establishment of a system of secondary TVE colleges in Indonesia, linked to a network of polytechnics to improve the quality of TVE programmes through improvement of curriculum, upgrading of teaching, administrative and support staff, facilities, and improved industry links;
· Implementation of a dual system (system Gandha) in Indonesia of apprenticeship to better integrate tuition and structured on-the-job industry training;
· Increasing the flexibility of upper secondary education in Japan with technical and vocational education concentrating on industry groupings such as business, fisheries, engineering and technology, nursing with the intent of changing the attitude of students towards career selection and encouraging convergence between vocational and general education;
· Introduction of multi-skilling in Republic of Korea to facilitate the transition from a production-cost oriented economic system to a 'technology oriented economic system';
· Introduction of a shift in TVE infrastructure towards demand related training away from supply based training in Pakistan;
· Reconstruction of the TVE system in Viet Nam to meet the needs of a changing society with a.major policy thrust on targeting improvements in the quality of TVE provision, to improve the course curricula and training methods to make the system more flexible;
· Improving the quality of trained technical teachers in Thailand to improve the quality and throughput of technician and technologist level education;
· Encouragement of the private sector to undertake major role in providing technical education and training in Thailand.
Issues in TVE
There are a number of issues in the development and improvement of TVET in the region specially affecting its image and status which continue to remain a matter of major concern in most of the countries. TVET has in the region a crucial role in the development of new skills, new practices and new structures of economies and their regionalization and internationalization. There is in every country a big potential for new work, new activities, employment and job creation. It has to be appropriately perceived and realized through relevant education and specially TVET. Some strategies based essentially on the study of some current issues in several countries of the region which could have an impact on speeding up development, structural adjustments and acceleration of technological change through technical and vocational education relate to:
· Preparedness for Information Society The most important singular issue for TVET is to take advantage of the possibilities the new information and communication technologies are increasingly making available for introducing information society technologies in all the countries. TVET through new information society technologies can facilitate the speeding up of technological change particularly at the work place and for employment and job creation.
· Curriculum It is absolutely important that curriculum development is aligned with the needs of industry and business in a way that is harmonized with long term national, regional and global objectives. It is also essential that a broader TVE curriculum is designed and delivered in co-operation with industry preferably using new information and communication technologies.
· Articulation is another important significant factor which is affecting the status of TVE. A lack of articulation arrangements is seen as a dead end and has the effect of restraining the development of individuals in their working careers. Australian and New Zealand systems provide insights into providing articulation mechanisms.
· Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is intimately intertwined with the question of articulation. Prior learning can be of a formal or non-formal nature resulting in the formation of competencies which could be related to an educational level. This problem frequently occurs at the time of seeking to gain credit for TVE studies from an educational institution. Resolution of this problem may require the intervention of government(s) to encourage the stake holders to address this matter in a methodical way. Several good examples of RPL are available in Australia and New Zealand in the region. A Regional Convention on Recognition of Studies in TVET may facilitate development of new practices and modes of alternating school with work experience.
· Broad Based Training With the advent of a globalizing economy opening of borders and the development of trade among the countries and the regions, the need to develop a workforce that is broadly trained at all levels is becoming increasingly necessary. It is also becoming desirable that this work force does not specialize too early in the initial training cycle.
· Quality has a direct impact on the TVET programmes. The relevancy of curriculum, the efficiency and effectiveness of course delivery and student management, the provision of required equipment and resources, and the educative environment are as important as anywhere else notwithstanding the efficient use of resources obtained in competition to other sectors.
· Teachers play a key role in the provision of quality TVET programmes. TVET teachers must have a first-hand knowledge of real world of work and processes within their field of teaching. Teacher's salaries and emoluments comparable to employment in industry also play a crucial role in the induction and retention of TVET teachers and can prevent their substantial leakages to more lucrative jobs in industry.
Let me now have the focus of your attention turned to UNEVOC:
UNESCO's new International Project on Technical and Vocational Education. This project seeks to network policy planners, teacher training and technical institutes, teachers, schools and students throughout the world, in a bid to assist in reducing the gap between North and South in building human resources for development. The UNEVOC project was launched by UNESCO in 1992. The project-is designed to create more effective working relationships between UNESCO and such UN specialized agencies as ILO, regional organizations, NGOs, public and private funding sources and, last but certainly not least, the private business community. A project implementation Unit has been established in Berlin (Germany). The initial phase, from 1992 to 1996, has devoted to promoting the exchange of information and experience among the Member States in order to make technical and vocational education better articulated with national education systems. UNEVOC is an example of new thinking pointing towards the involvement of the wider civil society.
It gives me great pleasure to share with you the fact that in Asia and the Pacific the UNEVOC Network is fully operational. The network is serviced by ACEID which is the Secretariat of UNESCO's Asia and the Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID). The primary goal of APEID is to contribute to the building of national capabilities for undertaking educational innovations linked to the problems of national development, thereby improving the quality of the people in the Member States.
All projects and activities within the framework of APEID are designed, developed and implemented co-operatively by the participating 29 Member States through nearly 200 national centres which they have associated for this purpose with APEID.
In Asia and the Pacific, the UNEVOC was launched in December 1993 at one of the UNEVOC centres nominated by Australia. Starting with the identification of policy issues for TVE of common concern to the region including TVE - industry and business interface, under UNEVOC case studies on contents and methodologies of thirteen Member States in the Region have so far been conducted and widely disseminated in co-operation with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
A regional workshop of curriculum development experts from seven countries produced an Exemplar Curriculum Document on Entreprenurial Skills for Small Business. This document has been adopted or adapted by a number or countries in the region. Some other regions have also acquired copies of this document for study and eventual use after necessary adaptations. A Core Monitoring has been established to provide regional co-ordination and evaluate the progress of the project.
A Curriculum Clearing House for providing entrepreneurial training support has been established at a UNEVOC centre in Australia. A regional meeting of regional TVE curriculum specialists formulated a Guide Book on TVE Curriculum Development with examples of existing best practices of curriculum development in the region. Another regional meeting of experts formulated a Draft Guide Book on TVE Teacher Education Curriculum Development and Adaptation.
An electronic networking of selected UNEVOC centres in the region is already in place. This networking is allowing interested centres to exchange curricula, instructional materials and other resources to bring about reforms in their systems of TVE planning and implementation.
It is UNESCO's mission to continue to foster intellectual co-operation through education, science and culture. UNESCO's main concern lies in the development and upgradation of human potential, especially skills upgrading which UNESCO regards as the key to improve national productivities in the era of regional and global co-operation and competition. The transfer and sharing of knowledge is among UNESCO's major objectives. Technical and vocational education continues to receive high priority in UNESCO's successive Plans and Programme Activities. We wish to assure these organizers of this Conference that UNESCO continues to stand committed to the improvement and advancement of TVE through the active co-operation and collaboration of its Member States as well as IGOs and NGOs in ways which are effective and affordable.
Before I conclude, let me reiterate that the rapid technological advances can only benefit us if we are able to derive benefit from the revolution in information and communication technologies. People of which we have an abundance in our region are the real building blocks to industrialization and development. There is an urgent need to invest generously in the skill upgrading of our people through appropriate technical and vocational education by all nations of the region so that this biggest asset of manpower could be harnessed for region's development. There is also the need to innovate to catch up on the lost time to provide competencies for basic existence in the times to come. These must of necessity include essential skills and knowledge as well as key tools for renewing and supplementing knowledge throughout the entire life time. New information and communication technologies offer excellent possibilities and opportunities in this regard for the renewal and updating of the systems of TVE and the Member States. Concerted efforts by the Member States and specialized institutes like RMIT, Institutes of TAFE and other UNEVOC centres in the Member States are necessary to make use of this excellent resource and possibility. UNESCO and UNEVOC will always be happy to assist through regional co-operation and collaboration in this regard.
Thank you once again for providing us this opportunity to share some of our thoughts on this important topic with all of you.