Validation Workshop on Studies on Labour Market and Curriculum Harmonization and Training Session for BEAR II Countries

On 10 March 2021, UNESCO, through the support of the Government of South Korea, hosted a validation and training webinar on Labor Market Analysis (LMA) with focus on Studies on Labour Market and Curriculum Harmonization and Training Session for BEAR II Countries. This workshop drew forty-seven participants from the BEAR II countries, namely, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Madagascar. Among attendants included Ms. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, the Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Mr. Mame Mor Diarra Ndiaye, the Regional Coordinator of the BEAR II project; Mr. Katayama Hiromichi and Mr. Hervé  Huot-Marchand, both from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France; BEAR II National project officers; BEAR II International Consultants; as well as representatives from technical committee members; regional TVET stakeholders; private sector; foundations; institutes of technology; and  GIZ. The Webinar was organized into two sessions, with a discussion on a summary of findings of five regional surveys conducted on Labour Market Analysis (LMA) and curriculum development by various consultants, who provided an analytical review of the general LMA situation and provided training on LMA approach as well as on a harmonized CBET model process, through the technical support of Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, the lead consultant.

The studies were commissioned by UNESCO to contribute to the harmonization of the curriculum through the development of curriculum approaches in the 4 English speaking countries covered by the BEAR II project for coherence and global competitiveness guided by international standards. The relevance of the workshop was underscored in promoting strategies on Youth & Entrepreneurship and Gender & Inclusion in the implementation of TVET Strategy and qualification frameworks, which will enrich the strategies developed in future through stronger linkage between the labour market analysis and curriculum to inform the quality of TVET training and interventions. This intervention underpins the global efforts to implement the Education 2030 Agenda for sustainable  development, in particular, the sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4) of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, with a strategy to enhance the relevance, quality and perception of TVET training in Africa.

In her opening remarks, which were read on her behalf before she joined the meeting by Ms. Scheherazade Feddal, a Programme Specialist in the Education Sector at UNESCO Nairobi Office, Ms. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Director, stressed the relevance and importance of the meeting in assessing LMA and Curriculum harmonization in enhancing the quality of vocational education in the targeted BEAR II Countries. She stressed the importance of training through improved curriculum as well as the production of skills for Labour Market Analysis practitioners and TVET stakeholders on the choice of important indicators to be used for curriculum development and targeted sectors.

Emphasizing on idea of a “win-win” cooperation by encouraging knowledge generation from both the BEAR II beneficiary countries and UNESCO, Mr Hervé  Huot-Merchand of ED Sector, UNESCO Headquaters highlighted a need for the analysis in enhancing the strategic thinking of a new TVET Strategy, which is relevant in building on the final evaluation of the current strategy, by relying on relevant data (work and results) and information system from the beginning of the analysis.

Participating at the workshop, Dr. Langat, the Chairman of the Technical Committees in Kenya and Director General, Technical and Vocational Educational and Training Authority -(TVETA) and Ms. Tigist Kebede, currently coordinating curriculum design and development of the training material for the Agro-Processing sector in Ethiopia, and Eng. Okinya, the Chair of the Technical Committee in Uganda as well as representative from the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation stressed the criticality of quality curriculum in theory and practice for skilled human resources so as to meet the current market demands. With the current great emphasis placed on skill anticipation and better matching, all the countries offering TVET programs in the region identified a need to develop a skilled workforce with the right mix of skills that can respond to the needs of the labor market. In the context of dynamic and complex labor markets, regular update of the curriculum is one of the surest ways that can support better matching of TVET training and jobs.

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