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The UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme for Latin America is taking place from August 27th – 31st in Panama City. Jointly organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC and the UNESCO San José Office, and hosted by Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional y Capacitación para el Desarrollo Humano (INADEH) of Panama, the regional UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme aims to help those in change agent positions become transformative leaders.
Skills requirements continue to evolve to align with global developments. In the Latin American region, as in other parts of the world, TVET institutions have to be responsive to the economic, social, and environmental changes taking place. Leading the change is, however, a challenging task, and there is a lack of transformational leadership at different levels of national TVET systems. Within this context, the UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme provides an opportunity for institutional leaders to become change agents in their institutions, communities, and countries. UNESCO-UNEVOC believes that those who have the vision, knowledge, and skills to drive change are more empowered to take strategic decisions and move to action.
The UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme for Latin America is the first of its kind to take place in the region and the first to be delivered in Spanish. During his opening remarks, Mr. Federico Castro, Regional Director of the Ministry of Education of Panama (MEDUCA), stated, “This UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme of UNESCO is essential for Panama as we invest a lot of effort to improve TVET policies and practices in the country.”
Throughout the five-day Programme, 24 mid- to senior-level TVET professionals, representing relevant Ministries and key TVET institutions from 7 countries (Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama), including 6 UNEVOC Centres (Cuba’s Ministry of Education, Colombia’s ETITC and SENA, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Education and INA, and Mexico’s CONALEP), are taking part in training aimed at improving their capacities to enable transformative TVET in their countries. Experts and participants have interacted in highly engaging sessions where thematic training is reinforced by practical exercises and intense group work. A noted feature of this training programme is the equal representation of female and male TVET leaders.
Together with training modules covering SDGs and TVET opportunities, Gender equality, Qualification frameworks and recognition of learning, Work-based learning, Entrepreneurship, Greening TVET, and Leadership and strategic planning, participants have the opportunity to develop proposals which can be implemented at their respective institutions. The focus is on three main qualities that determine a leader’s ability to drive change efficiently and successfully:
1. Strategic knowledge (Vision for change)
2. Thematic knowledge (Knowledge for change)
3. Leadership and management skills (Skills for change)
After completing the UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme, participants will form a new network of TVET leaders across participating countries and will return to their institutions with sharpened vision, up-to-date knowledge, and the required skills to drive effective change. A participant from INADEH noted, “All national institutions of TVET need such a forum in order to update themselves and address the key needs of the region.”