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Greening of TVET emerges as an important agenda of UNESCO project in SADC

The expansion and improvement of equitable and gender-balanced TEVET in Malawi is a critical step to achieving SDG2030 and is at the heart of UNESCO’s support to the Government of Malawi. An ongoing project funded by the EU called Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP) serves this purpose and seeks to develop the current state of quality of TVET teachers and the introduction of Greening TVET programs in the country to achieve this aim.

With support from a diverse pool of stakeholders from the Southern African countries, this issue was discussed for two days during the Southern Africa Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Teacher Training and Greening TVET Forum in Lilongwe, Malawi on 10th April 2017.

A total of 73 delegates representing government representatives, private sector, academics and TVET experts from the nine countries covered by the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were in attendance. Experts from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France and UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre in Bonn, Germany also participated at the Forum.

The forum was inaugurated by the Mr. Luckie Kanyamula Sikwese, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Planning, Government of Malawi. He reiterated that the enhanced quality and capacity of Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) teachers are key to skills development in all countries.

Within the framework of this discussion, UNESCO-UNEVOC’s flagship initiative on Greening TVET was also introduced and discussed. This flagship initiative feeds into the purpose of the STEP project in so far as identifying the key elements that constitutes development of a robust framework for improving the quality and labour market relevance of TVET teacher education in Malawi and the whole SADC region.

In this occasion, the whole-institution approach to greening of TVET agenda, as well as the shifts taking place in different occupations served by VET skilled graduates, skills gap and examples of initiatives that could support TVET teachers and managers in implementing sustainability aspects in the TVET curriculum and training stimulated reflections among participants.

The introduction of Greening TVET in the forum’s discussion was also hailed by the participants. Acknowledging the adverse impact of environmental changes, Mr. Sikwese also appreciated the inclusion of Greening TVET in the discussions and stressed upon its importance in framing a common response to the environmental challenges.

The forum also included the dissemination of the report on Guidance and Counselling in Malawi schools, and the UNESCO-UNEVOC Greening TVET a practical guide for institutions. The forum generated a set of action points that could lead further on developing policies and programmes to advance TVET teacher quality in the context of SDGs and SADC’s own strategic development plan.

This forum also saw the participation of the following UNEVOC Centres:

1. Soche Technical College, Malawi

2. The Polytechnic University, Malawi

3. Technical, Entreprenurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority, Malawi

4. National Training Authority, Namibia

5. JET Education Services, South Africa

6. Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe

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