The reality of TVET: National Council

The Technical and Voca­tional Education and Train­ing (TVET) are unable to respond effectively to the purpose it was established for.

It was learnt in the ongo­ing 22nd session of National Council (NC) on January 8, that TVET system has been failing to meet its standard. The matter was submitted by Special Committee for TVET for deliberation to the House.

According to the interim review report on TVET, it stated that the system con­tinue to face significant challenges particularly in access, relevancy and qual­ity of skills. It added that such challenges are further aggravated by the rapid eco­nomic transformation and changing market require­ments.

The preliminary findings of the report stated that the major factors attributing to the low growth of TVET are lack of TVET policy stewardship, inadequate at­tention on developing pro­fessional services, partial implementation of Bhutan Vocational Qualification Framework (BVQF), weak TVET-industry linkages, and lack of adequate finan­cial and human resources.

The report also stated that Ministry of Labour and Human Resources have been facing challenges re­garding the policy frame­work. They have reported to the committee that the existing policy is limited in its scope to cover all TVET providers under one frame­work since some provid­ers of programs in sector-specific agencies including health, tourism and agri­culture have implemented their independent policy and related regulations.

TVET has been allocated a budget of 1.8 percent of the total budget outlay or Nu. 2.1 bn in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP). However, the committee showed con­cerns over the minimal share of overall national budget outlay. The report showed that the overall cap­ital share of the total outlay has been less than 1.5 per­cent in the 9th, 10th and 11th FYP periods.

Lhuentse’s NC, Tempa Dorji said that there is only 0.3 percent increase in the budget. He added that TVET, if provided more as­sistance of investment, it could generate skillful youths and workforce re­ducing the rate of unem­ployment.

Due to the lack of ad­equate financial resource, the share of the Technical Training Institutes (TTI) has been minimal. As a re­sult, it has constrained the TTIs in having adequate in­frastructure, teaching and learning materials, tools and equipments, health and safety gears, working uniform, industrial link­ages, and industrial tours.

As of now, the TTIs of labour ministry provide TVET programs only at the certificate level. However, the ministry was not able to provide government scholarships outside the country according to the report.

The session discussed about the lack of opportu­nities for the top perform­ing TTI graduates to pur­sue higher technical and vocational education. The report concluded it as one of the reasons for failing to attract good performers from school education in the TVET programs.

Some of the NC mem­bers suggested on making TVET programs more at­tractive and quality based with more amount of prac­tical classes than theory with relevance to time, skills and technology. Ad­dressing the issue of un­employment rates, the members also suggested on conducting more stud­ies regarding the TVET programs being less pre­ferred by the youths.

The Committee will pres­ent the full review findings with recommendation to the 23rd session of the NC this summer.


By Kinley Wangchuk

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