Emerging Challenges and Trends in TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region || Emerging Trends and Challenges of TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region

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<ul><li><p> S. Majumdar, (ed.), Emerging Challenges and Trends in TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region, 2735. 2011 Sense Publishers. All rights reserved. </p><p>BERNARDO ADIVISO </p><p>3. EMERGING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES OF TVET IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION </p><p>INTRODUCTION </p><p>Countries in the Asia-Pacific region have restructured, expanded and reformed their educational and training systems. A major objective has been to bring these economies more in line with new global forces that demand greater international competitiveness, flexibility and innovativeness from enterprises, as well as greater skills and flexibility from the labor force (ADB, 2003). The nature of current and even future reform initiatives in education and training can be clustered into three main categories, namely: i) competitiveness-driven, ii) equity-driven and iii) finance-driven. The first are aimed at improving the economic productivity of the labor force by raising the quality of educational attainment and quality of education at each level of schooling. Equity-driven reforms are aimed at reducing inequalities of access to schooling by socio-economic back-ground, gender or ethnic group. On the other hand, finance-driven reforms are intended to foster private domestic capital formation and in creating conditions of financial stability to attract foreign capital and donor assistance. To think about planning technical and vocational education and training (TVET) initiatives in the new global or regional context requires a continuous assessment driven by the objectives of competitiveness, equity and cost-effectiveness. The TVET systems in the Asia-Pacific region are meeting serious challenges brought about by the ongoing global financial crisis. In addition, they have the perennial problem of a lack of market relevance resulting in the mismatch between supply and demand besides the deeply-rooted social bias and dwindling financial support from the government, which is the main investor in TVET provision. The single most important economic requirement for any TVET system is for it to have close linkage with the labor market. The sustainability of TVET, therefore, depends much on its ability to adjust to market demands, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In contrast, many TVET systems are not flexible or responsive enough; they tend to be rigid and isolated (ADB, 2004). Figure 1 can serve as an analytical framework for TVET. Briefly explained, it would be imperative that the supply (or training) side should match up with the demand (economic and social) side of the process model. In order to do this, TVET must be efficient, effective and relevant. In short, TVET should be designed to be internally and externally efficient. </p></li><li><p>ADIVISO </p><p>28 </p><p> Figure 1. An analytical framework for TVET planning. </p><p>BEST PRACTICES OF TVET IN THE REGION </p><p>Benchmarking of TVET consists of identifying, understanding and adapting out-standing practices from within the same organization or from others to help improve performance (Cook, 1995). It deals with the best practices or world-class activities in TVET as benchmarks for continuous improvement. Individually, the TVET systems of regional countries have their own niches and sets of best practices which make them different from the others. These best practices have been known and replicated within or even outside of the region. Some of the time-tested best practices are randomly documented in this paper. </p><p>Competency-based Training (CBT) System </p><p>This mode of training has been successful in a number of countries like Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, to mention a few. The replication of the CBT in the Asia-Pacific region is widespread with some technical assistance. However, there are only a few success stories on the outcomes of some projects on CBT due to a lot of constraints. </p><p>Financing of TVET </p><p>Legislation on TVET promotion through the establishment of a TVET Fund or tax levy has been successful in Korea and Singapore. The Skills Development Fund (SDF) of Singapore has practically served as a regional model for the sustainable financing of TVET. </p><p>Industry and Private Sector Participation in TVET </p><p>The TACs for TVET in New Zealand and Australia can be a paradigm in TVET and industry sector partnership. Public-private partnership in TVET has been legislated with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the usual representative of the private sector. This institutional framework of TVET is adapted in most regional countries with varying degree of success. </p></li><li><p>EMERGING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES OF TVET </p><p>29 </p><p>Quality Assurance of TVET </p><p>Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia have their own pioneering and rich experiences to share in the areas of training standards development, skills testing and certification, and accreditation. Some forms of quality assurance include an external examination of polytechnic graduates by a Board of Technical Education; institutional registration and program accreditation by a national coordinating body for TVET; skills testing and certification by a certifying body or accredited professional bodies; a national vocational qualification (NVQ) system which recognizes prior learning (RPL), or an ISO certification. Quality awards in TVET are also gaining region-wide acceptance. </p><p>Decentralized and/or Autonomous Structure of TVET </p><p>A number of countries in the region like Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have established separate ministries and/or national bodies for the co-ordination and administration of TVET. TVET is being devolved through legis-lation. The devolution envisions a more active participation of the private sector in TVET provision and a greater accountability given to the local government. </p><p>Technical Education and Staff Development Facilities </p><p>Successful Technical Teacher Training Institutes or Upgrading Centers (TTTIs or TTUCs) were established in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh which guarantee the supply of highly trained teachers for polytechnics and other TVET institutions. Staff development centers (SDCs) have been well-developed in these regional countries for teacher and staff training as well as for curriculum and instructional materials development. </p><p>Networking of TVET Systems in the Region </p><p>The establishment of the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) for Technician Education and subsequently the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education (SEAMEO VOCTECH) demonstrated world-class projects on TVET through regional cooperation. These institutions serve as clearinghouses for TVET, venues for addressing common issues and needs in TVET and as regional resource development centers of excellence for the regional countries. </p><p>EMERGING TRENDS IN TVET </p><p>The following paragraph does not intend to be exhaustive, but only illustrative of the major reforms and innovations in TVET, which are either initiated by the government or carried out in collaboration with foreign donors, multi-lateral funding agencies and the private sector. </p></li><li><p>ADIVISO </p><p>30 </p><p>Emerging Structure of TVET Systems in the Region </p><p>The development of a flexible, open, and cost-effective system of TVET is fast emerging as a practical response to the rapidly changing economic and social order. Figure 2 attempts to encapsulate the emerging institutional structure of TVET systems in the Asia-Pacific region. Many TVET systems in Asia are undergoing major structural changes such as decentralization of authority and operational autonomy. This includes the setting up of new or autonomous bodies/authorities for the coordination, planning and administration of TVET either at the national or provincial level. Most of the TVET systems in the region are a mixture or combination of the illustrated structure. In particular, the non-formal training is provided by various ministries and private providers. Many countries have attempted to transplant the German dual training system, but most have not achieved much success in their projects. However, what needs to be kept in view is that the various TVET systems in member countries have evolved over decades or even centuries with various external interventions and influences such as American, British, Dutch, German, Russian, French or Australian, including international organizations like UNESCO and ILO. These are reflected on the present institutional and social structures. For this reason, the needs are expected to be unique, varied and complex. </p><p>Figure 2. Emerging institutional structure of TVET. </p></li><li><p>EMERGING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES OF TVET </p><p>31 </p><p>Developing a National Qualification Framework </p><p>There are numerous innovations going on in many regional countries, mostly as part of foreign-assisted projects, on the establishment of a national qualification framework modeled after those in UK, Australia, or New Zealand. By their nature, national vocational qualification (NVQ) frameworks are essentially employment-oriented rather than academic-oriented systems, but with an equivalency in academic qualifications for national recognition and accreditation by sectors. The NVQ Framework is like climbing a frame or stairs with upward and sideways progression. It is a competency-based qualification system which reflects the needs of the workplace and recognizes prior learning or experiences. Table 1a and 1b show the NVQ Frameworks of the City and Guilds of UK and Australia, respectively. </p><p>Table 1a. City and guilds international vocational qualifications, UK </p><p>Vocational craft Technician Level Qualifications Vocational Certificate </p><p> 1 NVQ1 </p><p>Vocational Diploma Technician Certificate 2 NVQ2 Adv Voc Diploma Technician Diploma 3 NVQ3 C&amp; G Licentiate </p><p>Full Technological Diploma </p><p>4 NVQ4 </p><p> Graduateship 5 NVQ5 Membership 6 Masters Degree Fellowship 7 Highest Level of </p><p>technological experience </p><p>Table 1b. Australian qualification framework by sector of accreditation </p><p>School sector accreditation </p><p>Vocational education and training sector accreditation </p><p>Higher education sector accreditation </p><p> Doctoral degree Masters degree Vocational graduate diploma Graduate diploma Vocational graduate </p><p>certificate Graduate certificate </p><p> Bachelor degree Advanced diploma Associate degree, </p><p>diploma Diploma </p><p>Senior secondary Certificate IV Certificate of education Certificate III </p><p> Certificate II Certificate I </p></li><li><p>ADIVISO </p><p>32 </p><p>Linking TVET with Higher Education </p><p>One of the strategic objectives of policy reform in TVET is to develop alternative career paths and to link with higher education. Such a policy direction requires a neat bundling, articulation, and interfacing of programs. Figure 3 illustrates the current efforts towards the vertical and horizontal integration of programs in TVET which may be a major factor in articulating and linking with higher education as well as an initial step towards developing a national qualification framework. </p><p>Figure 3. Vertical and horizontal integration of TVET programs. </p><p>Curricular Innovations </p><p>The restructuring of various TVET systems as a result of major policy reforms has led to practical innovations in curriculum development and delivery. The curriculum design considered linking and interfacing TVET programs with professional degrees offered by higher education institutions (HEIs) and accredited institutions of higher learning. These continuing education programs are labeled differently in regional countries such as ladderized curriculum/program, modularized program, open learning systems, distance education, or open university system. Figure 4 shows a sample of a curriculum design of the ladderized program at the Technological University of the Philippines. The three-year diploma (technician) program serves as the main platform of the various professional degree programs with a quality control/accreditation mechanism for selective admission and/or credit transfer. Such curricular strategy greatly benefits the working class/students while enhancing the skill-competitiveness and employability of the graduates in a wide spectrum of professional fields, i.e., engineering, techno-managerial and human resource development careers. </p></li><li><p>EMERGING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES OF TVET </p><p>33 </p><p>Figure 4. Linking TVET programs with higher education. </p><p>Standards Setting and Development </p><p>Setting of skills and training standards has been a major component of many foreign-assisted TVET projects in the region. Most of the initiatives are directed towards international benchmarking and/or adoption of best practices and inno-vations from both regional and non-regional countries like USA, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. </p><p>Social Marketing of TVET </p><p>One of the prominent policy reform agenda in TVET is to improve the poor social/public image, which is a major constraint in promoting social equity and poverty reduction. Social marketing and career guidance in TVET have been put in place in order to reverse the social bias of parents and the youth. </p><p>Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of TVET </p><p>The aspects of planning, monitoring and evaluation are major weaknesses of the TVET systems of member countries which are being addressed through develop-ment projects and technical assistance. The need to develop a planning culture amongst the leaders and managers of TVET including capabilities in monitoring and evaluating TVET programs and projects is critical. It is sad to note that labor market information system (LMIS) or tracer studies of graduates are not readily available in most of the regional member countries for planning and policy-decision. </p></li><li><p>ADIVISO </p><p>34 </p><p>Facilities Modernization and Maintenance </p><p>Any reform agenda in TVET will always consider facility development as a crucial component due to poorly designed or insufficient space for various accommodations, such as those for workshops, laboratories, classrooms, hostels, offices and ancillaries. Also, the equipment, tools and books are either outdated or ill-maintained. It is recognized that the training environment should be a replica of the real workplace. </p><p>Increasing Access and Gender Development </p><p>Increasing access and women in the economy are major considerations in many TVET reform agenda. The focus is not only on meeting the economic demand for trained labor, but also on increasing training access for women, out-of-school youth and other disadvantaged groups. </p><p>RECOMMENDATIONS </p><p> Improving the Relevance of TVET </p><p>TVET programs must be demand-driven in order to be effective and relevant. There are new technologies that will shape the future and may have to be anticipated in the strategy formulation of TVET. The new and emerging technologies include digital electronics, optical data storage, advanced video displays, advanced computers, lasers, fiber optics, micro-waves, advanced satellites, new polymers, high-tech ceramics, superconductors, micromechanics, among others. The three candidates for the next big technological revolution are biotechnology, energy technology and nanotechnology a...</p></li></ul>

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