Experts have called for the integration of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) skills into conventional school curricula from primary to university level.
The call, made during an international TVET symposium in Kigali, on Tuesday, is a reminder that TVET holds the key to the 21st century education and labour market challenges.
It is a wake-up call for key actors in TVET to recommit to the sector and put emphasis on market-oriented skills to boost youth employment.
A lot has been discussed about TVET, and there is no doubt that TVET is the way to go to address the ever-growing challenge of unemployment, largely blamed on the conventional education system that produces seekers of white collar jobs.
However, it’s now time to take the TVET talk from conference rooms to schools and communities to ensure that the TVET agenda does not remain on paper.
All stakeholders should move fast to ensure that TVET becomes a requirement for every school, especially at the secondary level.
All schools should have TVET clubs engaged in activities revolving around innovations through TVET. TVET is not only about heavy equipment installed in workshops but it also has a lot to do with innovation using local resources and the mind.
For a long time, technical and vocational education and training has been marginalised with many seeing it as a reserve for school failures, who don’t make the cut for university admissions or even lower conventional education classes.
For this stereotype to change, schools should streamline vocational education in their curricula to emphasise TVET’s importance.
Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, government targets to create 200,000 off-farm jobs annually, among other ambitious targets.
Achieving such objectives will largely depend on a robust TVET sector. It’s time to turn the tables against the long held negative perceptions about vocational and technical education.