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Strong linkages vital for progress, TVET development

The Fiji Times (online), 18 December 2015 - THE budget allocation for technical vocational and education training (TVET) must be greater to meet the local skills shortage.

This was among remarks made by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, during the presentation of preliminary findings of his report at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Tuesday.

"The budget allocation for TVET, around 2 per cent is scarce, and TVET deserves greater financial investment," Mr Singh said.

He said there was a need to raise the social esteem and profile of TVET.

"Raising the social esteem of TVET and making it professionally rewarding is essential. As is developing critical thinking skills in TVET students.

"This can be done by awarding national prizes to TVET students to raise the profile of a technical education society."

He said there should be stronger linkages between TVET institutions and enterprises.

"Institutional collaboration with industry and sustained public private partnerships can be possible avenues to mobilise more resources.

"This is critically important in creating opportunities for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, and in responding to the rising aspiration of youths, as well as to the emerging needs for lifelong learning.

"This should be supported through stronger linkages between TVET institutions and enterprises necessary for making the system better responsive to growing skill demands, and better capacitated for contributing to industrial and socioeconomic development."

He said a pleasing indicator was Government's recognition towards TVET.

"I am very pleased to see that the Government has recognised the need to strengthen technical and vocational education and training.

"The skills shortage in Fiji is a serious issue, and the Government has opened three technical colleges and is committed to opening eight more."


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