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Unformatted text preview: Technical Vocational Education and Training: ‘The Master Key’ ‘The Review of the Functions of FIT, TPAF and other TVET Providers’ For the Ministry of Education, Youth
and Sports, Arts, Culture & National
Heritage June 2008 Prepared by: Dr Akhilanand Sharma of the University of the South Pacific and Eci Naisele of the Ministry of Education TVET Section This report does not reflect the views of the University of the South Pacific or the Ministry of Education ii Technical Vocational Education and Training: ‘The Master Key’ ‘The Review of the Functions of FIT, TPAF and other TVET Providers’ For the Ministry of Education, Youth
and Sports, Arts, Culture & National
Prepared by: ………………………………………………… Dr Akhilanand Sharma of the University of the South Pacific …………………………………………………. Eci Naisele of the Ministry of Education TVET Section June 2008 iii Table of Contents
Chapter 1 v
xv Introductory Chapter
Rethinking Technical Vocational Education and Training:
Vocationalising Education Chapter 2 TVET…Programmes
2.1 TVET administration
Different TVET Providers
2.3 Types TVET Programmes
Formal TVET Education-Pre-Vocational
Vocational Education Training 1 14
14 17 2.3.2 Private Vocational Training Institutions
Monfort Boys Town
Private TVET Providers 22 2.3.3 Non Formal TVET
Advanced Vocational Training (AVT
Ministry of Youth, Sports and Productivity,
Department of Youth Training Scheme
Tutu Vocational Centre 24 2.3.4 TVET Tertiary Institutions
Fiji College of Agriculture [FCA]
Fiji Forestry School 27 2.3.5 Teacher Preparation Institutions
Fiji College of Advanced Education
University of the South Pacific [USP] 29 Chapter 3 FIT and TPAF 30 Chapter 4 Presentation and Discussions of the Findings 45 Chapter 5 The Way Forward for TVET in Fiji: Recommendations for
Policy and Practice 77 References
Appendices (A) 1-9 86
List of people met and places visited (A1), schools visited
(A2), Correspondence (A3) Interviews (A4), Report on
Business Excellence Award (A5), FEA – A Case Study
(A6), Key Economic Data (A7), Statistics (A8), Projected
iv 90 Acknowledgement
We were inspired to name this review report as ‘TVET: The Master Key’ after attending a
very successful workshop on TVET in the Republic of Palau in 2006. In particular, the term
is mentioned in the editorial section of the prospects, quarterly review of the comparative
education (UNESCO, vol. XXXV, no. 3, September 2005) and it became very popular in
the workshop. This title sets the conceptual basis of this review.
We are grateful to numerous persons, institutions and organizations that have provided
valuable information as well as documents for this review. Firstly, we thank the former
Interim Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Netani Sukanaivalu, for giving
us the opportunity to conduct this review. We also acknowledge, with appreciation, the
contribution made by the current Education Minister, Mr Filipe Bole, while he was a senior
lecturer at the University of Fiji and now in the office of the Minister.
This review was of great educational value to us. We also acknowledge the Permanent
Secretary for Education, Mrs Rabukawaqa and the Deputy Secretary for Education,
Administration and Finance, Mr. Filipe Jitoko, for their assistance throughout the review
process and for seconding Mr. Eci Naisele of the TVET section of MOE as the project
secretary. The Human Resources Planning Committee of the Ministry of Finance, National
Planning and Sugar Industry has also made useful input in this review exercise and for that
we are indeed grateful.
We are indebted to the Directors of FIT and TPAF for providing valuable documents and
time for discussion and consultation. Both Mr. Jone Usamate and Dr Ganesh Chand
deserve our heartfelt gratitude. The staff members and students of FIT and TPAF are also
thanked for their contributions. We also express our gratitude to the industry
representatives for discussing the work of FIT and TPAF and for providing valuable
information on the effectiveness or otherwise of the courses and the programs of the two
We acknowledge with appreciation the input provided by the appropriate sections,
Government and NGOs to this exercise. The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the
University of Fiji (UOF) have freely discussed the rationale for establishing the National
University of Fiji and the ways in which USP, UOF, FIT and TPAF can function as a team to
provide relevant and authentic education to Fiji citizens within the confines of limited
resources available. The valuable input of FESP and TVET Vocational Adviser, Mr. Donald
de Klerk also needs mentioning in this submission.
Selected secondary schools that provide franchised TVET programs have also made
considerable contribution to this review. Their critical examination of the strengths and
limitations of the franchised programs provided insights that were helpful in suggesting
ways in which the limitations may be addressed.
We also like to put on record, with appreciation, the contribution made by USP, the Ministry
of Education and the Forum Secretariat for making available the necessary documents for
our desk study.
Finally, we thank everyone who has contributed in this review and wish them success in
their future TVET endeavours.
Dr Akhilanand Sharma, (Chairperson)
Associate Professor and Head of School of Education
The University of the South Pacific
Eci Naisele (Secretary)
Senior Education Officer, Ministry of Education v Executive Summary
The review of the functions of FIT, TPAF and other TVET providers was
commissioned by the Minister of Education. A clearly articulated ‘Terms of Reference’
(TOR) was provided for the review. In conjunction with this work, the TOR also
expected the review team to look at TVET in totality especially the initiatives of MOE in
secondary schools and those of private providers and the University of the South
This review is seen as increasingly necessary for two reasons. Firstly, TVET plays an
equally important role in the social, economic and political development of any nation
together with its academic counterpart. However, Fiji has not fully realized its potential
and has treated it as a ‘second best option’ to academic education. TVET is gradually
gaining the attention it deserves in the total learning system of all Fiji citizens.
Education is regarded as the key to development, however, TVET is seen as ‘the
master key’ because it has the ability to open all the ‘doors’ of life-long learning and
improve the vocational expertise and consequently the quality of living. It is expected
that this review report would empower the stakeholders, especially the policy-makers,
so that they can genuinely accept TVET as an equally important component of the
total learning system providing relevant knowledge, skills and competencies for
employability, quality living and learning communities.
Secondly, FIT and TPAF are the two main institutions responsible for training skilled
human resources for various industries in Fiji. The review examines the extent to
which these institutions are fulfilling this need and how they could work as a team to
avoid any unnecessary duplication of functions and reach-out to the other sectors of
the economy. To locate FIT and TPAF in the realistic TVET scenario, it became
necessary for the review team to examine TVET programs in secondary schools and
private organizations. After studying these organizations, the review team strongly
recommends the setting up of an overarching national coordinating authority for
policy, quality assurance and monitoring.
Furthermore, the team stresses the need to vocationalise education beginning right
from pre-school through secondary to tertiary programs of study. The vocationalising
initiative, it is emphasized, is concerned with educating the ‘whole person’ by providing
life-skills including values education and preparation for the ‘world of work’, selfemployment and ongoing learning. In this regard, it becomes a learning strategy
destroying the dualist nature of our education system, that is, the academic education
stream for the majority and the vocational for slow learners. Therefore, this review
report takes a visionary approach and goes beyond the review of the functions of the
TVET providers and suggests the ‘restructuring of the whole education system’ to
enable students to acquire academic as well as vocational education within the same
program of the schooling process. 2.0 Terms of Reference
2.1 To compare the FIT Act, TPAF Act and the Education Act with the view to
identifying areas of duplications in terms of responsibilities. It would be relevant
to the understanding of the Taskforce for FIT and TPAF to provide an
interpretation of their roles and core responsibilities according to their Acts and
what links they have with the other institutions such as USP and MoE. 2.2 Make recommendations to the review of the three Acts to clearly demarcate
responsibilities of the three institutions in terms of training activities. FIT and
TPAF may need to identify areas they are currently working with that lie outside
of their Act. 2.3 Consider the robustness of the Acts in terms of meeting the country's demands
for skill training and requirements. 2.4 Define and assess the target audience for each institution. vi 2.5 Ensure that the two institutions have greater accountability to the responsible
Minister for meeting their core functions within the resources provided by
government. 2.6 Review the current structure of accountability with the two institutions coming
under two different Ministers and Ministries. 2.7 Review the training programmes of FIT and TPAF and identify areas of
duplications in training. 2.8 Make recommendations on how to streamline the training activities in the two
institutions to better show their core functions in terms of meeting the skilled
manpower of the industries and determine future of excess programmes. 2.9 Look at major pathways, in connection with the National Qualifications
Framework, for learning in the area of TVET between the schools, FIT, TPAF
and the USP. 2.10 Assess the fees structure of FIT and TPAF and make recommendations on how
learning can be more affordable to the public.
2.11 Make any other recommendations to the Minister for Education for improving
effectiveness and efficiency of FIT and TPAF and issues for future research and
3. The structure of the Report
The report is presented in five chapters. Chapter 1 discusses the background of
TVET, concentrating on its concept, orientations, locations, potential and challenges.
It also succinctly explains the review methodology. In the second chapter, TVET
programs in Fiji are discussed briefly with particular reference to TVET administration
and types of programs. The third chapter examines FIT and TPAF in some depth.
Chapter 4 reflects broadly on the overall findings of the review and the last chapter
presents recommendations for policy and practice. In each chapter, some implications
for policy and practice are made. These are consolidated in Chapter 5. The
recommendations for policy and practice relate to (a) the overall structure of TVET, (b)
the specific pre-service and in-service functions of FIT and TPAF respectively, (c)
quality TVET centres and the delivery of skill-based training in rural and remote areas,
(d) National Qualification Framework (NQF), (e) empowerment programs for the
stakeholders, (f) research, and (g) leadership and staff professional development. 4 Data Management Approach
This report is the product of extensive consultations with the relevant TVET
stakeholder community that included the members of the taskforce, industries,
respective institutions, educators, policy-makers, employers, informal sector, and
selected primary and secondary schools and their communities and students.
Moreover, documentary analysis and observation were the other strategies to gather
relevant data. The relevant literature was also studied and it provided us the
appropriate conceptual base to anchor the report.
The two institutions, namely, FIT and TPAF, that were studied provided valuable
submissions based on the TOR of the review and their appropriate documents
including handbooks, strategic plans, annual reports and the like. This information was
useful in formulating the recommendations that are provided in various sections of the
Qualitative data collecting approaches employed in this review enabled us to collect
information that represents the views of a diverse section of the relevant stakeholderfamily. Thus, it was possible to draw policy-makers, policy-users, employers, private
sector, students and self-employed persons
into TVET policy development and
management. The interview and discussion transcripts were returned to the principal
informants for validation and comments. The draft review report was also presented to
FIT and TPAF Boards and staff academic committees. It was also presented to the
Human Resources Planning Committee of the Ministry of Finance, National Planning
and Sugar Industry. Both the Ministers, mentioned above, and the Permanent
vii Secretary of Education were given copies of the draft review report in December
2007. The comments and suggestions made during the presentation and discussion
were accommodated and accordingly further additions and deletions were made. In
this way, most of the complexities and uncertainties were cleared in the terrain.
Apparently, this approach lands itself into the democratic process.
The two universities in Fiji, namely, the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the
University of Fiji (UOF) were also consulted and their views have found expression in
this report especially the recommendations regarding the proposed Fiji National
University (FNU). Perhaps, it is untimely to establish another national university on
national funding at the present time. It is suggested that a more partnership relations
be established amongst USP, UOF, FIT and TPAF in order to avoid unnecessary
duplication of courses and programs. Through pathway or cross-credit arrangements,
the certificate and diploma graduates from FIT and TPAF should be able to complete
their degree studies at USP or UOF. If and when established, the proposed FNU
could have a College of TVET comprising FIT and TVET as well as other TVET
providers. This would locate TVET in a “bigger picture’ of social, economic and
professional development. The proposed structure would also make it possible for
TVET to receive the respect and attention it deserves, enabling it to exist as an
equally important component of the total learning system and not as the ‘second-class
option’ to academic education (Fiji 1969; Fiji 2000; ADB 2007). The proposed College
would also create better cooperative relations among TVET providers especially
between FIT and TPAF. To rationalize TVET courses and programs and foster
teamwork, the College should be established as soon as possible.
The strength of any research-based report depends on interrelated variables such as
the availability and accuracy of data, the timeframe of the study and the funds
available to conduct it. There was hardly any funding allocation for this project.
However, the accuracy and the consistency of data were not compromised and were
achieved through the triangulation approach within the limited timeframe of the
5 TVET programs
5.1 Education systems in many developing countries are highly dependent on
Western intellectual models, which are essentially academic in content and
orientation. In recent decades, however, such systems have faced difficulties
that are seen by many to represent a ‘crisis’ in formal education for developing
countries. Major problems include access to educational opportunities, high
school push-out rates and the worsening phenomenon of educated
unemployment. The problem of a large number of school push-outs exists
especially among poorer sections of the population. Educated unemployment
and associated social problems have arisen because job opportunities fail to
keep pace with the rising expectations of those with formal education
qualifications. In this context, the concept of technical and vocational education
remains attractive to many educational policy-makers. Consistent with this worldwide trend, Fiji has for some time attempted to incorporate significant technical
and vocational initiatives within its educations system.
5.2 The Education Commission Report 1969 proposes the introduction of vocational
education in secondary schools in Fiji to cater for the needs of school leavers
providing education and training for paid employment that would lead students to
higher education, to equip students for self employment and to provide life skills
for those who would return to a rural life. This notion was further endorsed by Fiji
Islands Education Commission Report 2000. The report stresses that ‘dualism’ in
secondary schools will always be a threat to technical and vocational education.
Over the years, technical and vocational education has struggled to get
recognition form all sectors leaving a rather vague picture that skill-training is
meant for those who are academically weak.
5.3 The present structure in the current TVET system saw it being offered and housed
in more than one government ministries. The Ministry of Education, (MoE)
manages the school-based TVET systems at primary, secondary and postviii secondary school levels. Despite its semi-autonomous arrangement, FIT comes
under MoE. The Monfort Boys’ Town is classified as a private provider of TVET
programs but currently receives an annual funding grant from MoE. The
Advanced Vocational Training (AVT) program provides short-term training to the
non-formal sector. It is managed by TVET section of MoE but is funded by the
Ministry of Planning and National Development under its Integrated Human
Resources Development Program (IHRD).
5.4 Private TVET vocational training institutions, such as the APTECH Computer
School, are registered by MOE that recognises their qualifications and graduates.
However, they are not closely monitored and do not receive financial or resource
assistance from the Education Ministry. Other private TVET providers with
agriculture-based training such as Tutu Vocational Centre are supported and
funded by the Ministry of Agriculture.
5.5 The Fiji College of Agriculture is a fully government agricultural institution and
provides a Diploma in Tropical Agriculture and this qualification is accredited by
5.6 The Ministry of Forestry provides forestry skills training at its Forestry School in
Colo-i-Suva and TITC in Nasinu. These organizations also provide short-term ‘up
skilling’ courses for the workers of the forestry/timber industry.
5.7 The Technology sections of USP’s School of Education, FIT Learning Centre and
FCAE provide TVET teacher training programs at certificate, diploma and degree
levels for those who wish to pursue ‘TVET teaching’ as a career.
6 Fiji Institute of Technology
6.1 FIT was established in 1964 with its initial name, the Derrick Technical Institute.
The main purpose of the Institute was to prepare human resources for the
technical and vocational needs of the country especially for skilled work in
commerce, trade and industry. This was consistent with the Colonial
Government’s policy of national development.
6.2 Most of its programs then were provided by off-shore providers such as the City
and Guilds of London Institute and the articulated trade programs from New South
Wales, Australia. With sponsorship from private companies such as FSC, Emperor
Gold Mine, PWD, Carpenter, Mallows and Millers Limited...
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