The Seychelles is hosting other countries from East Africa in a session to develop a framework for quality assurance in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications.
The three-day session opened on Monday at the Savoy Resort and Spa in Beau Vallon. It is being organised with the support of UNESCO and is to ensure recognition for TVET qualifications.
Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, director and representative of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, told the opening session that it is crucial for countries to develop their own local labour skills instead of looking for foreigners.
“But at the same time look at how to use technologies to fast track what we want to do and modernise TVET curriculum and programme to make it more attractive for young people,” said Ndong-Jatta.
The participants include representatives from the African Union, the International Labour Organisation, as well as from UNESCO-UNEVOC – the International Centre for connecting the UNESCO Member States worldwide to develop and strengthen technical and vocational education and training.
“TVET is not an alternative for those who are not performing well. Actually, if we look at it closely, the reason why we have a lot of graduates from the higher education system that cannot be employed is that they do not have competent skills for industry,” said Ndong-Jatta.
The regional representative added that “in a lot of instances we tend to look down at TVET and this is wrong and must change.”
On her part, Seychelles’ Minister for Education and Human Resources Development said that the session is being held at the right time as the island nation is making provisions for quality assurance at various levels of the education system.
“This workshop will provide a platform for experts and stakeholders in TVET to deliberate on key elements pertaining to the formulation of a framework for the recognition of TVET qualifications in the region,” said Minister Jeanne Simeon.
According to Simeon, this process will eventually contribute towards the establishment of a quality culture across the TVET sector and in the education system.
“This will increase the relevance of TVET qualifications and the employability of youth nationally and regionally,” said the minister.
All is on track for the island nation’s technical and vocational school scheduled to open on Ile Soleil in 2021. (2020 Development Seychelles Ltd) Photo License: CC-BY
During the coming days, participants will be able to adopt a common understanding of key concepts related to qualifications and quality assurance and propose guidelines for quality assurance of qualifications in the countries of the region.
Additionally, they will also discuss strategies and tools on certification and qualifications at the level of TVET institutions that will increase the quality of TVET institutions in delivering certification that will lead to employment.
The group will also consider alternative ways to link to the informal sector by proposing shorter quality courses and certification modules that will help solve short term unemployment and training imperatives.
The director-general for TVET and Entrepreneurship in the Ministry for Education, Jean Alcindor, said that all is on track for the island nation’s technical and vocational school scheduled to open on Ile Soleil in 2021.
“Now with this workshop, we are preparing ourselves so that we can have a framework to standardize our qualifications and change the perceptions and the way we look at vocational and TVET education,” Alcindor said.
According to Alcindor, this will make the sector more attractive to young people in Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – who would now want to join and develop themselves in the field and receive qualifications that will be accepted across eastern Africa.
Source: Seychelles News Agency