Yes, more research is needed to come up with visionary TVET policies
The TVET sector continues to play critical role as a catalyst for social-economy development and in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, there is limited information currently on this sector, the very reason I am calling for strengthening of TVET research to generate requisite data and information that would promote a better understanding as well as facilitate evidence-based policy development.
The TVE sector as currently constituted, been aligned towards creating an inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. The sector specifically focuses on SDG 4 and 8, which deal with quality education, decent jobs and economic growth for all.
The community of nations have been mandated to meet certain targets aligned to the 17 SDGs by the year 2030. These includes equal access to affordable and quality TVET programmes (target 4.3), substantially increase in the number of youth and adults with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (4.4), elimination of gender disparities in education (4.5) and ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development (4.7).
This agenda has also been domiciled by the African Union TVET strategy document, which provides a strategic framework for the development of national policies to address the challenges of TVET.
The strategy addresses the cross-cutting issues of governance, innovation and creativity, employability and relevance, with the main thrust being development of TVET systems that prepare young people to be job creators rather than job seekers.
A central theme within the continental TVET strategy is the strengthening of global partnerships to support skills development.
The participation of key stakeholders has been crucial in TVET development and this strategy advocates a structured and continuous collaboration between the productive sectors, social partners, training institutions and professional associations.