MTHE Embarks on National TVET Policy Development

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During a press conference convened at the Ministry of Tertiary and Higher Education’s conference room at its New England Ville office in Freetown on Tuesday 9th April 2019, the Minister, Professor Aiah Gbakima, said they are embarking on the development of a National Policy for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Present at the meeting were members of the Technical Committee set up to develop the Policy, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Gilbert Cooper and members of the Press.
In his introduction, Gilbert Cooper stated that his Ministry deals with two categories of education, Higher Education, which is concern with colleges and the universities and the second category being that of Technical and Vocational Training. On the former, he said, that operations are going on with little itches, but the latter is the sticking point, for which this policy is being developed. He informed the media that technical experts are already in the process of formulating a Policy, which will embrace all disciplines and inputs from the public will be welcomed.
Addressing the meeting, Professor Gbakima said that over the years, two similar policies (2010 and 2014) have been developed by the previous Government, but these have not seen the light of day as they were left in the preliminary stages. This policy, he noted, will be sent to cabinet and later tabled in Parliament for enactment. He, however, stated that the past two drafts will be closely looked at and other additions made to stream line it with the needs of the country. He noted that a lot of youths from the University and from schools are unemployed. This, according to him, is due in part to the relevance of their courses to the job market, whilst others lack the necessary skills training to get them gainfully employed. He lamented over the fact that mining companies in this country hire foreigners to work in their companies because of the absence of the requisite skills in the country.
The policy, he went on, will take into cognizance all these facts to ensure they create the skills to meet the needs of the job market. It is therefore the responsibility of his Ministry to solely focus on technical and higher education. Its operational responsibilities include among others: Development of robust policies on TVET, Development of framework for public-Private-Partnership with a view to increase private sector participation in TVET, expand access, improve quality of TVET particularly in areas highly potential for job creation, review and standardize curriculum and certification for TVET, develop a national apprenticeship scheme which can provide internship for trainees of TVET and at the same time provide direct training for youth. Promote agricultural TVET to enhance food production and food security.
Development of the TVET Policy
Minister Gbakima maintained that the MTHE is currently developing a National TVET policy in collaboration and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders/ partners including GIZ. The process is being led by a national consultant with both national and international experience in policy development and implementation. Regional Consultation will be conducted simultaneously to further solicit stakeholders inputs in five regions: East in Kenema, South in Bo, North West in Port Loko, North in Makeni and West in Freetown.
He stressed that a final validation workshop will be held by the 4th week of April leading to the finalization of the policy. The final document, he said, will be presented to Parliament for approval and enactment. The purpose of the policy is to set up a common vision for the TVET system in Sierra Leone, to facilitate alignment with both national development frame work and coherence with other policies, to enhance coordination of planned actions and reforms for improving outcomes and input of TVET, to clarify institutional arrangement and stakeholders roles and responsibilities for TVTE, to integrate best practices at national and international level, to pledge the political and collective will of the GoSL and implementing stakeholders.
In that regard, he is appealing to members of the general public and interested parties to participate by sending their views, comments and suggestions to the TVET Policy Secretary Technical Working Group at email: mempower1981@yahoo.com or contact: +232 76 966959.

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