|Outcomes from the implementation of the TVET project are highlighted at the workshop.
These outcomes came under the spotlight at a workshop reviewing the implementation of the project’s first phase, held in Hanoi on March 21.
Overall, the project’s first phase has ended on a very high note. All planned activities have been successfully executed with key elements and subjects are found to be aligned with the needs of the Vietnamese TVET system.
All expected stakeholders are also actively involved as well as dialogue with other international donors has been established. Therefore, the project has been successful in many ways with very positive feedback from the participating colleges and stakeholders.
Four TVET schools were selected for the pilot phase, including Hanoi Industrial Vocational College, the North-Eastern Vocational College of Technology, Agriculture and Forestry, the Southern Technology and Agro-Forestry Vocational College, and the Ho Chi Minh City Vocational College.
They have reviewed and upgraded their training programs to bring them in line with current trends and practices in the furniture and graphic design industries.
Additionally, there are provisions for in-service training courses for teachers to build their capacity to enhance their competencies and skills to enable them to deliver quality practical training.
The ultimate aim is to make technical and vocational education demand-driven and relevant to the needs of industries. Another key deliverable from the project is a white paper collecting experience and findings of the first phase for the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to develop a more responsive and demand orientated TVET system in Vietnam.
Another success is the establishment of Local Occupational Skills Councils (LOSCs) as a focal point to enhance the school - enterprise cooperation. It is regarded as a valuable forum for the future cooperation structure between schools, enterprises, authorities and other stakeholders.
Consequently, the LOSCs have been the structure around which most of the local work has revolved. This work include discussing the school - business cooperation in short and long term, their skills needs and skills levels, the duration and practical implementation of practice placement (apprenticeships) and general development issues at local level, as well as developing curricula based on the division of learning goals between schools and businesses.
Moreover, capacity-building activities executed by the project earn equally positive feedbacks. These activities include teacher training, management training, training for in-company trainers and support to the LOSCs’. However, more time is required to create effective change in working methods and mind-set with all participants.
“There are many important lessons-learned drawn from the project’s first phase. Firstly, we learn that TVET reform is a high priority for the Vietnamese overnment. Vocational colleges and Vietnamese authorities also agree that there is an urgent need to increase cooperation between colleges and businesses.” said Torben Schuster, senior advisor from the Danish Ministry of Education’s Department for Administration and International Relations.
He noted, however, the change process is a long one, which engages both educators and managers of vocational schools. The ongoing process of increasing autonomy for TVET schools could enable schools to brand themselves and build strong local links, yet, it also adds up the many challenges that they are already dealing with. Finally, more young people should be recruited and get involved in the TVET education on a national scale.
"Let me start by complimenting the Vietnamese Government, particularly the MOLISA, for its strong and continued focus on the important area of vocational education", Kim Højlund, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, highlighted in his speech at the workshop.
The diplomat stressed that as vocational education and training provides job opportunities for a large number of young people, it helps building a workforce with relevant and up-to-date knowledge, skills and competences.
The first phase of the VTET project, with a focus on the furniture and graphic design sector, was initiated in January 2017 and completed in March 2019.
As changing TVET education is a long-term process and based on successes of the first phase, both Vietnam and Denmark have agreed to continue the cooperation of TVET in a second phase starting from May 2019 until June 2022.
The second phase, including food processing as a new sector, also seeks to increase policy dialogue and improve cooperation with other international partners.