Translating regional strategies into institutional actions in Asia and the Pacific
The first UNEVOC Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Leadership Programme for Asia and the Pacific region took place in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-6 September, 2019. Jointly organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC and the UNESCO Bangkok Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific, and hosted by the Office of the Vocational Education Commission, Ministry of Education of Thailand, the programme assisted leaders and managers in Asia and the Pacific in moving to action by translating regional TVET priority strategies into institutional responses.
Twenty TVET leaders from fifteen countries, including UNEVOC Centres in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan attended the programme.
In recent years, countries in Asia and the Pacific, with support from UNESCO, have been promoting equitable access and expansion of quality TVET. Guidance frameworks and strategies have been developed and laid out to better foster linkages between TVET and the world of work; to improve quality assurance of TVET qualifications and consequently improve the image of TVET; to build learning pathways between different educational streams; and to facilitate the transition from school to work. Some of the guidance documents produced by UNESCO Bangkok, in collaboration with UNESCO-UNEVOC, are the Guidelines for the Quality Assurance of TVET Qualifications in the Asia-Pacific region (2017), and the School to Work Transition Information Bases (2012)
This year also marks a landmark occasion for countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The ten ASEAN member countries are currently preparing to launch a new joint TVET policy direction which outlines multi-representative goals of different ministries and organizations of education, labour, science and technology, and higher education.
Key issues to be addressed in the region
There are considerable differences in the TVET systems across countries in Asia and the Pacific. These differences are attributable to the diverse national TVET systems and governance structures, as well as the varying management capacities of institutions. To ensure that regional cooperation leads to shared prosperity, countries require stronger understanding of the labour market needs at the national and regional level. In addition, they require stronger skills mobility structures that allow skills recognition and certification systems, and provide for the efficient recognition of prior learning (UNESCO 2016).
To keep pace with global developments, TVET systems in the region need to expand their training offers, adapt to new demands, improve access of young people and adults and increase their efficiency. Unfortunately, these necessary improvements are often hindered by lack of quality, lack of access and equity, poor labour market relevance and limited strategic partnerships.
UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme
Transformative TVET leaders have a clear vision, sound knowledge, and the skills to drive change. They are experts in their fields and constantly update their knowledge on current theories, facts and data to make informed decisions. They build support for the implementation of their vision by convincing colleagues, staff and other experts and defend their decisions convincingly. In short, they are able to translate ideas into goals and eventually into action. They transform TVET at the institutional level, so TVET systems are fully equipped to meet global targets (SDG Targets 4.3 and 4.4) and effectively contribute to sector and regional level development.
The UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme for Asia and the Pacific focused on three qualities that determine a leader’s ability to drive change efficiently and successfully: strategic knowledge (vision for change); thematic knowledge (knowledge for change); and leadership and management skills (skills for change). Throughout the one-week programme, experts and participants engaged in interactive and thought-provoking sessions where thematic introductions were followed by practical exercises, group work, reflective learning, and discussions.
To find out more about UNESCO-UNEVOC's TVET Leadership Programmes, please visit here