Analysis of Technical Education and Vocational Training in Nepal
Present world is the age of science, technology, information and occupational skills. The fundamental elements underlying the phenomenon are measured by education, training, business, industry and employment. However, Nepal’s present education system is ignoring the more realistic and pragmatic approach focused on education for life and livelihood of the learner by adhering to the idealistic approach characterized by the appreciation of natural beauty, cultural heritage and dependence on the metaphysical world and theory dominated knowledge and information dissemination.
Consequently, the nation is falling behind in progress and prosperity and the number of unemployed people are terribly increasing arithmetically. It is only through the coordination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical vocational training that people power of the nation can be channelized in the productive activities required to meet the needs of the people. We have to internalize that skill is our base and utilize the natural and human resources and thus raise our national productivity. This is the only way to achieve economic and social progress and reduce poverty.
The nation can get expected results only by integrating all training activities under one umbrella in course of providing education that is productive to the nation and the learner. Although a huge amount of nation’s money is spent in the name of training, it is dismal that no substantial achievement is documented or for reference and further investigation. The trend of providing unnecessary authority to national and foreign organizations only for the sake of pleasing them and lack of central coordination and management of vocational training resulted in the present condition of educational degeneration in Nepal.
In the context of increasing number of unemployed people daily, the nation has to play a pioneering role in the economic and social development to engage such a workforce in development activities by mobilizing its natural resources .The bitter reality is that as many as 3 million people without any technical education and vocational training are engaged in foreign employment supporting the national economy by supplying remittance. In spite of this, the nation is not playing its role efficiently to produce skilled and market-oriented workforce which can discharge their duties skillfully in the foreign markets where only 30% semi-skilled workforce and 70% untrained and unskilled workforce has been instrumental to reduce poverty through their earnings. The number of boys and girls dropping school in the mid is huge and that of even not enrolling in schools and those deprived of technical and vocational education due to socio-economic reasons is astonishingly high. If the unemployed workforce could be equipped with occupational skills and sent to foreign employment, it can be estimated that due to the income of the workforce duly trained, the present foreign earning will be increased two to threefold and the country will leap in the path of economic and technical progress.
As the development and revision of textbooks on occupational skills are not contextual, the trained workforce is incapable of performing in the foreign market. Even after standardization of the skills acquired by the workforce, the present national policy of providing employment in and out of the country is not effective. This has discouraged the skilled workforce to land in the foreign job market and to send earnings back home. So the workforce has to be provided ample opportunities to receive technical and vocational training with an easy and conducive environment for all who need it.
We have seen that different modalities of sustainable agricultural development are expanded throughout the world. Utilizing the resources and tools at their disposal without the use of modern machines, tools, and insecticides, our ancestors produced enough yields from the land. This indicates that the present national need is the use of the indigenous method with the modern knowledge and skills and development of a sustainable agriculture system so that the nation can be self-sufficient in food production.
Fundamentally, unless the group of people under the grip of poverty is raised by making them competent in technical education and vocational training, no real social and economic development takes place in the nation. Therefore, another objective of skill development is to improve the standard of living of the workforce. It is equally challenging to involve the poor, women and Dalits in the skill-oriented program by means of awareness building campaigns. It is also felt that due to lack of dynamism in economic loan and assistance scheme, the most economically disadvantaged group of people are finding it a great problem to engage themselves in self-employment for generating income.
The policy makers are made aware many times that respect for human skills and, right for self-decision free from hunger are interrelated concepts that should be included in the development process for the wellbeing of citizens of a nation. We have to internalize that skill is our base and utilize the natural and human resources and thus raise our national productivity. This is the only way to achieve economic and social progress and reduce poverty.
The nation also faces the challenge that it has to attract investment on the economy to acquire professional qualities for skilled management, modern technology, technical skills and access to international market. Another challenge ahead is to achieve socially and economically by identifying the natural resources and mobilizing them through technical education and vocational training. Adhering to the concept of gender equity, social inclusion and promises made on such matters from time to time, identify government, non-government sectors, private and civil societies, and donor organizations have to be identified and provided with guidelines on earnings and skill oriented activities of the nation.
On a national level, CTEVT needs to form two different streams of technical education and vocational training and provide more attention to vocational skill orient. CTEVT has been endeavoring hard to make it employment oriented by incorporating technical education and vocational training in the mainstream of development.
Technical and vocational education and training policy 2069 are in place which provides guidelines for the programs under CTEVT. The main users of this policy will be government, non-government organizations, private organizations, and donor organizations. Now the most important task lying ahead is implementing the policy effectively together with regular monitoring of the progress and addressing the blocks of progress with the coordinated efforts of all concerned for development of the nation.
Pushpa Raman Wagle, Director, Polytechnical Division, CTEVT