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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 Heritage 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 Acknowledgement Executive Summary Acronyms Definitions Chapter 1 v vi xiv xv Introductory Chapter Rethinking Technical Vocational Education and Training: Vocationalising Education Chapter 2 TVET…Programmes 2.1 TVET administration Managing Authorities TVET Characteristics Different TVET Providers 2.3 Types TVET Programmes 2.3.1School Based 2.3.1.1 Formal TVET Education-Pre-Vocational 2.3.1.2 Curriculum 2.3.1.3 Vocational Education Training 1 14 14 17 2.3.2 Private Vocational Training Institutions 2.3.2.1 Monfort Boys Town 2.3.2.2 Private TVET Providers 22 2.3.3 Non Formal TVET 2.3.3.1 Advanced Vocational Training (AVT 2.3.3.2 Ministry of Youth, Sports and Productivity, Department of Youth Training Scheme 2.3.3.3 Tutu Vocational Centre 24 2.3.4 TVET Tertiary Institutions 2.3.4.1 Fiji College of Agriculture [FCA] 2.3.4.2 Fiji Forestry School 27 2.3.5 Teacher Preparation Institutions 2.3.5.1 Fiji College of Advanced Education 2.3.5.2 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 Budget (A9) 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 institutions. 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 1.0 Introduction 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 Pacific. 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 considerations. 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 review report. 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 project. 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 USP. 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. 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