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Overcoming the stigma associated with TVET; comments given to a query in UNESCO's UNEVOC e-Forum

I wrote it in UNESCO's UNEVOC e-Forum today. Since it is a topic having general interest, I thought I should share it here as well.

Success stories would continue to be limited as long as TVET continues to be a watertight compartment. Stigmas take shape and grow strong when majority in a society holds anxiety towards something deep inside and which comes out as distaste, dislike or at least neutrality. If the grounds for such stigma is false, it will fade off. However, if it continues strong, it is an indication towards the existence of some concrete reasons.

In the case of TVET, compartmentalization is one of the basic reasons that triggers all other issues. If we have a clear academic vertical or horizontal mobility (with other systems) plan to offer to the students, the stigma will begin to wither.

Of course, in most places, TVET came into existence as a solution to provide a sufficient workforce for industrial development or as a solution for unemployment after higher education. It does not mean that the young chap who happens to be a part of the TVET system does not have the right to move out of the system. It also does not mean that those who are there in the regular academic system does not have the opportunity to enter TVET. It points towards the need for a system that facilitates vertical mobility within the TVET and horizontal and vertical mobility between the TVET and
other streams of education.

Side by side, the TVET should serve its purpose. As other friends pointed out, it should cater to the HR needs of the industry. For this to happen, TVET should have strong industry linkages. Industry should be an integral part of the entire life cycle of TVET courses, starting from course identification, development of content and transaction method, course transaction, practical, internship, assessment, certification, placement to feedback on the placed candidates and the changes in the industry as an input into the system for further refinement or development.

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