Technical Vocational Education: Its contribution to the development of Namibia
The Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector gained popularity and is considered a driving force for sustainable development of any country’s economy.
This has been the case in most developing and developed countries. TVET is an initiative that is expected to respond to both the demands of labour market and the needs of the industry in the 21st century.
It seems Namibia and most developing countries place less value to TVET than academic career streams. Stakeholders such as parents and the community as a whole look down on TVET.
There is an understanding that bright students often diverge away from TVET and TVET is societally perceived to be less of national importance and a priority for those whose academic capacity is perceived to be lower than the requirements of higher learning institutions.
Namibia is mainly blessed with multiple natural resources and exports mostly diamonds (25% of total exports), uranium, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, live animals and less manufactured products to South Africa (27 percent of total), United Kingdom (17 percent), USA, Angola, Netherlands and Spain, according to 2018 export figures.
Most of these produces are exported in raw form and returned as highly and costly finished products due to the fact that we lack the expertise and the capacity to process them at home.
The world is calling for an improved TVET sector that is aligned to the industry demand.
It is for that reason that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is highly recommending advanced skills development so that even in a case where technology eliminates the need for routine labour, it will also open up a lot of new opportunities in industries that influence creativity and innovation.
Surfing the Fourth Industrial Revolution will mean marrying human intelligence to artificial intelligence in new and creative ways.
There is a need for us to understand globalisation is shifting markets from local to global arena. Competition in the labour market has become more and more intense. The economic development drives the demand for expertise and high quality workforce in various fields of the labour market.
Namibia needs to prepare to play in the globalised by developing the TVET training providers that can produce high quality and fit-for-purpose skilled work force in various sectors of our economy.
TVET is important for promoting economic development, expanding employment size, improving the quality of employment, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The development of TVET has become one of the most important strategies in both developing and developed world. Governments around the world are currently undertaking reforms on their TVET systems to enable them meet demand for appropriate skilled work force.
If Namibia want to survive in global competition and create quality employment for its youth, she need to give extra support to her TVET system and put more efforts in TVET and not giving it lip service. China has made great effort to develop vocational education.
The state council of China has decided vigorously to developing Vocational Education and Training on 28 October 2005. Vocational education is fundamentally positioned as an important foundation and backbone for social economic development and strategic focus of education. The significance of the cooperation between TVET training provider and industry has begun to obtain more attention in China, a culture Namibia should adopt.
The funding system of TVET should achieve the purpose of quality, efficiency and impact of training system. Namibia has also achieved a lot in terms of TVET; legal instrument and a training levy is in place, however there is a need to pay more attention to the TVET funding system, up skilling of trainers and facility development.
Successful implementation of TVET system is inseparable from sustainable and continual funding system. Investment in facilities and equipment should be a priority.
Finally, as a country, Namibian legislation and all stakeholders must drive for a quality-based TVET system with enterprise satisfaction that ensures quality graduates from all TVET institutions. Having TVET supported as a cornerstone, the country is assured certainly of the acceleration of economic growth and consequently there will be a paradigm shift in the perception of talented students.
Therefore, as country, there is a need to tackle the negative public perceptions of TVET and also put a better funding system in place that promotes TVET Programmes.
Erick Fundula Nenghwanya is Centre Manager for Nakayale VTC and Chairperson NEV TVET Hub. He holds, among others, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Leadership, International Diploma in Educational Planning and Administration, and Strategic Studies in Defence and Security Management.
2018-10-26 09:21:10 5 months ago