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Liberia TVET program lacks legislation

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-UNESCO consultant

The former head of Ghana’s Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) now a consultant for UNESCO, Dr. Daniel Baffour-Awuah, has expressed optimism that with commitment demonstrated by President George Manneh Weah towards implementation of his government TVET policy, necessary support would be provided.

Dr. Awuah spoke last Tuesday, 02 December at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia during a one-day Liberia’s Draft TVET Policy Review Report forum.

He noted that the current TVET program in the country lacks legislation that deals holistically with all aspects of skills development. According to him, the effectiveness and efficiency of TVET delivery in Liberia is affected by absence of a TVET Act or Law, governing the establishment of TVET as a sector.

The veteran Ghanaian educator continued the existing structure in Liberia for TVET implementation lacks adequate mechanisms for efficient governance and coordination, noting that evidence and measures to support and inform, design, implement, monitor, and review TVET policies are insufficient.

The UNESCO consultant also disclosed that the Draft Act is intended to harmonize and improve the governance and regulatory framework of the sector; facilitate creation of an enabling environment for the acquisition of employable skills for the world of work by all categories of learners, including youth, adults, the unemployed, ex-combatants, survivors from the Ebola pandemic, men, women, and persons with disabilities.

He called for establishment of a sustainable financing mechanism that would develop a qualification framework for recognition and certification of TVET in Liberia that promotes conservation and protection of the environment and sustainable resource utilization, while stressing the need to identify resource mobilization and strategies to avoid depending solely on national government.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s Assistant Minister for TVET in the Ministry of Education, SakuDukuly, the draft policy, when finalized, would improve technical and vocational education in Liberia by attracting youth and persons with disabilities to acquire technical skills and knowledge.

For his part, Assistant Minister of TVET at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Millias Sheriff, who spoke on objectives of the TVET policy review process, reiterated the final document would enhance ongoing provision of technical and vocational education to Liberians seeking professional skills and knowledge.

A participant at the forum, Mr. BoakaiJalieba, who represented Mittal Steel Liberia, underscored a need to have a lawmaker in the National Legislature to champion TVET activities.

The TVET policy and operational plan policy review focused on findings by a mission on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 28 September to 8 October 2020.

It is intended to provide an overview of implementation for the past five (5) years of the 2015 TVET policy, including operational plan, status, challenges, and way forward. UNESCO has supported the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Capacity Development for Education (CapED) programme.

In 2014 the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education with funding from UNESCO, initiated the harmonization of TVET policy and subsequent formulation of the TVET operational plans for Liberia.

UNESCO responded by organizing a TVET Policy review and as a result, a scoping mission was conducted from 28 September to 9 October 2020 by an international consultant, Dr. Daniel Baffour-Awuah, former head of Ghana’s Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), and A. B. PobuwoloTowaye, National Project Coordinator at UNESCO as well as BorleboKarpeh, National Consultant.

The report is made up of eight sections which analyze the labor market conditions and TVET sector in Liberia in relation to the implementation of the 2015 Liberia TVET Policy and Operational Plan documents and in line with UNESCO guidelines for TVET Policy review.

The validation of the National TVET Policy review report was held under the Theme: “Creating Livelihood Opportunities through TVET”.

By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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