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At the annual meeting of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, UNESCO-UNEVOC led the session on “Teacher Training: Skills and competencies for work”. The session presented recent evidence about multidimensional challenges facing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) workforce.
Development of the TVET workforce has been a focus area for UNESCO and Member States, and continues to be a priority given the critical role of skills development for work and life. Although the 2015 Incheon Declaration highlights the role of well qualified, trained, adequately remunerated and motivated teachers deployed across the whole education system to ensure quality education, challenges to TVET staff development still persist.
UNESCO’s TVET Strategy 2016-2021 confirms that an adequately prepared TVET staff is fundamental for TVET systems to provide youth and adults with innovative skills in fast changing labour markets and to empower active citizens in sustainable societies. It also stresses the need for capacity building initiatives for national decision makers and institutions responsible for the training of TVET leaders, staff and managers at national, regional and international levels.
UNESCO-UNEVOC, represented by Mr. Peter Greenwood, Senior Expert Consultant, led the breakout session discussing the main challenges and opportunities for the TVET workforce, based on the experiences shared by the participating experts and key practitioners, as well as the findings from recent/ongoing studies at international and regional levels. Representatives from various countries, including Malaysia, Jamaica, Chile, Germany, Philippines, and Laos offered examples of good practices and discussed the roles of various TVET stakeholders.
Panel experts from three UNEVOC Centres (Prof. Dr. Jailani Md Yunos, University Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia; Dr Shermaine Barrett, University of Technology, Jamaica; and Mr Reinaldo Hernandez, Duoc UC, Chile) along with Mr. Christian Stüer from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany held a thematic group discussion that identified critical challenges at the policy, system, and institutional levels. At the policy level, there is a challenge integrating the specialized requirements of TVET staff in the teacher training policies to attract, develop, and motivate all TVET staff. At the institutional level, inadequate empowerment and capacitation of TVET teachers and trainers to deliver programmes responsive to emerging demands poses a problem. At the system level, there is a need for clear regulatory frameworks that define the quality and performance standards.
The main recommendations of the discussions included reinforcing the evidence base for TVET teacher training through studies, knowledge sharing, and deeper collaborations between all stakeholders. On the policy side, the recommendations mentioned the need to highlight the role of TVET in sectoral development policies and enhance its image as a viable educational pathway. The participants also called for quality pre- and in-service training systems for TVET teachers, together with defining responsive and relevant standards for the TVET workforce. These training systems must focus on building the capacities of TVET teachers in enabling the acquisition of 21st century skills.
Five UNEVOC Centres participated in the discussions:
1. Duoc UC, Chile
2. University of Technology, Jamaica
3. T.A. Marryshow Community College, School of Applied Arts and Technology (TAMCC), Grenada
5. Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Bahamas
About the International Taskforce for Teachers for Education (ITF)
The ITF was set up in 2008 as a voluntary global alliance of national governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, international development agencies, civil society organizations, private sector organizations, and UN agencies, working together to address the challenges facing teachers. It was set on the assertion that providing education opportunities to all children, youth and adults is a basic human right and a lever of national and global development.