Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is back on the development agenda of Pakistan Education Ministry after years of benign neglect, instigated by a complex set of reasons that included budgetary constraints and criticisms of the World Bank and IMF in the early 90's on its direction and focus. The World Bank had argued at the time that the cost of technical and vocational education was too high compared with the returns to the economy, that the quality of training was poor and that there was considerable mismatch between training and the needs of industry. Simply put, the delivery of vocational education and training was not cost-effective. However, since the beginning of the new millennium, a fresh awareness of the critical role that TVET can play in economic growth and national development has dawned among policy makers in Pakistan and within the international donor community. The increasing importance that Pakistan governments now attach to TVET is reflected in the various Poverty Reduction Strategies . In its poverty reduction strategy intends to :
1. Develop vocational and professional training to facilitate integration into the labour market
2. Strengthening vocational training
3. Links vocational education and training with education of the youth and the development of technical and entrepreneurial skills
One of the most important features of TVET is its orientation towards the world of work and the emphasis of the curriculum on the acquisition of employable skills. TVET delivery systems are therefore well placed to train the skilled and entrepreneurial workforce that Pakistan needs to create wealth and emerge out of poverty. Another important characteristic of TVET is that it can be delivered at different levels of sophistication. This means that TVET can respond, not only to the needs of different types of industries, but also to the different training needs of learners from different socio-economic and academic backgrounds, and prepare them for gainful employment and sustainable livelihoods. A skilled workforce is a basic requirement for driving the engine of industrial and economic growth, and TVET holds the key to building this type of technical and entrepreneurial workforce.
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