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