MTHE, NCTVA & Partners Conclude 2nd Edition Workshop

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) workshop.jpg

By Esther Wright

The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE), in collaboration with the National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA), concluded the second edition of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) workshop. The three-day event, which ran from May 22 to May 24, 2024, took place at the Foreign Service Academy conference hall in Freetown.

The NQF is a system that categorizes educational qualifications by competence levels, based on learning outcomes. It outlines what the holder of a qualification knows, understands and can do. The framework spans ten levels of learning, setting standards for qualifications and part-qualifications and also includes additional information to guide learners in their educational and training pathways.

One primary goal of the NQF is to facilitate the movement of learners within and across different education and career paths. This connectivity allows learners to transition between various educational sub-frameworks, from general and further education to higher education and occupational qualifications.

Sierra Leone faces common challenges in higher education, such as limited funding, insufficient staff trainin, and the absence of quality management systems. This has led to university courses that do not align with student needs or job market demands. Employers have noted that graduates often lack essential skills and knowledge required in the workplace.

The Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone (AQHEd-SL) partnership aims to address these issues by bringing together Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and employers. The partnership focuses on enhancing graduate qualifications and employability by improving HEIs’ capacity to offer quality education through outcome-based, student-centered learning that meets new quality standards.

During the workshop, participants engaged in several productive discussions. Key outcomes included the implementation of standardized policies to establish stable qualifications framework at both national and continental levels, benefiting all stakeholders involved.



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