Friday, July 3, 2015

Areas of collaboration for TVET & Industry led Skill Training: Curriculum development

In the last blog I presented skill development as a special purpose vehicle within the TVET ecosystem. Now I would like to suggest some of the ways in which TVET can internalize the dynamism and the best practices from the skill development initiatives.

Many countries now have Sector Skill Councils that look after the skill development requirements of specific industrial sectors. Generally, these councils are industry led organizations. One of the standard practices that the sector skill councils brought into the TVET ecosystem is developing occupational standards and qualification packs with respect to various job roles in industries.

At present skill development programmes are being designed based on the qualification packs developed and notified by the sector skill councils. What actually the sector skill councils do in this process is listing out the major functions of each job role in the industry, mapping the competencies required for effective and efficient delivery of each such function of a job role and consolidate it as separate occupational standards, and bundle the occupational standards together to have a qualification pack for the given job role. Therefore the objective of each skill training programme would be to develop the competencies as per the qualification pack for specific job roles.

In the above process, the sector, skill councils need the academic experts to design curriculum along with content to translate the competency listing to corresponding learning stuff as well as to design and fine tune transaction methods. Such engagements will provide the academia greater opportunities to identify the need for different transaction strategies for long duration academic programmes and short term job role specific training programmes and bring about innovations. This would definitely add much value to the QP based skill training programmes, and the experience gained during this process will automatically trigger quality enhancement initiatives in the case of TVET programmes as well.

One of the basic differences between a long duration academic programme and a short duration job role training programme lies in the dynamicity of the curriculum. Since a job role training would be as demanded by the employer industry, the programme developers and managers shall take much pains to identify the exact requirements of the employer and translate it into the curriculum. Therefore the curricula may keep on changing very fast. Whereas conventional long term TVET programmes give greater importance to the basic philosophies, sciences and technologies that are not supposed to change frequently. Though seemingly contradictory, it can provide wonderful results in a combination. I mean, the dynamicity of industry led skill training on the strong basement of basic philosophies, sciences and technologies!

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