Management Can be Perceived as an Instrument Exercised to Achieve an Organization’s Purpose.

The concept of quality is not new in the Technical Vocational Education and Training. Training providers, trainers, administrators, and policymakers express it in different ways. Consequently, they apply various techniques and means to check whether the approved quality standards are met or not.

Mountain river with stones on the shore in the forest near the mountain slope in sunset light. Photo: Pellinni

Quality education is a strong foundation for preparing and improving quality. It is also an important competence of every nation’s human resource development. This is an asset for global economic competition. Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is the master key in the education sector. Due to global competition, a nation’s competitive advantages lies much in the high quality and competence of its workforce which is a result of quality education. Similarly, the quality and expertise of TVET output are also revealed through the nature and strength of its cooperation with the industries in a relationship with the labour market needs collaboration as the relationship between the vocational school with industry is crucial in building the quality and competent TVET products which can impact and fit the industry needs.[1]

The  Link between Training Institutions and Workplaces

The need for a skilled workforce has become more crucial in all sectors of human development. TVET schools are, thus, at the forefront in the production of a skilled workforce by equipping graduates with employable skills. This has attracted the attention of both public and private TVET providers. High-quality TVET programs are believed to be achieved when there is a link between training institutions and workplaces. This kind of cooperative training strategy is taken as a model since it equips trainees with practical training at workplaces and general or theoretical education at training institutions, schools or colleges that are established to provide training. The nature of TVET training programs usually requires practice or drill as a sole instrument to master the desired skill. As a result, trainees may be guided to observe and practice when assigned at workplaces, enterprises or industries for training. [2]

Close up portrait view of professional mask protected welder man in the industrial fabric workshop. Photo: dusanpetkovic1

Guiding Principles for Quality Assurance in TVET

A working group for the European Commission has introduced eight guiding principles for Quality assurance for school development [3]. It is guiding principles for policy development on quality assurance in school education. Since much of the TVET take place in the schools, we can probably also use the guidelines here:

  1. Systems should strive over time to achieve balance and coherence across different mechanisms that have been developed to meet the demands and expectations of stakeholders working in schools and the wider school education system.
  2. Quality assurance policies should support professional learning communities to make the best use of quality assurance data for school and system development with the ultimate goal of ensuring the best learning opportunities for all learners.
  3. Trust and respect between and among internal and external actors are fundamental for effective evaluation and school development.
  4. Schools leaders and teachers need opportunities to take considered risks to innovate and develop. Careful attention to data on the impact of innovations, including potential unintended outcomes, is essential.
  5. Quality assurance systems should support the development of a common language and shared understanding among internal and external actors that the fundamental purpose of an evaluation is to help school development.
  6. Networks between schools and with local and broader communities can support collective engagement, build social and intellectual capital and spark new synergies across school systems.
  7. Investments in building the capacity of key actors to generate, interpret and use data, are crucial.
  8. Different types of data – both quantitative and qualitative and gathered over time – are necessary for a balanced understanding of school development and learner progress. These data should communicate authentic narratives of schools and provide the required information to support decision-making both within schools and across school systems.

Quality Management in TVET

Management can be perceived as an instrument exercised to achieve an organization’s purpose. An organization can be set up to accomplish a given task. Thus, the administration is believed to perform the work by making use of all available resources. Quality in the TVET system cannot be ensured without due consideration to its management style. Quality management can, therefore, be realized by the application of Quality Assurance mechanisms. Quality Assurance strategies depend on the production and implementation of the National Quality Assurance Framework in the TVET (NQAF in TVET) system of a given country. Quality Assurance concepts can provide confidence in fulfilling the quality requirements of TVET providers since they focus on TVET quality. [2]

Technical Vocational Education and Training, in the School. Photo: auremar

The Concept of Quality Assurance in TVET

The concept of Quality Assurance describes the detail principles, methodologies, actions, measures and instruments through which quality in TVET can be ensured at system and training providers’ level. Hence, placing quality management system is a prerequisite to implementing class in TVET. It, thus, requires the establishment of an institution that can monitor and evaluate this activity. The establishment of Quality Assurance has the potential to enhance the implementation of TVET quality management system. Accordingly, the TVET management system will be required to set the mission, vision, and values of the training institution they lead. This could be fixed with the active involvement of all TVET stakeholders. Moreover, the TVET management system should develop tools regarding policies and procedures, strategic and operational plans and documents regarding quality assurance. It should also monitor and evaluate the implementation of these tools within the context of TVET system.

TVET providers are advised to base their management style on the principles (since it explains why and what to do) of customer (both internal and external) focus service, maintaining efficient leadership, ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders’, applying process and system management approach regularly, striving for continual improvement, establishing factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial relationship. At the same time, the management style should struggle for the establishment of common TVET visions among all beneficiaries, set common quality standards, build motivations among the participants, set common goals with all stakeholders, etc. [2]

Developing Quality in TVET Linked with Other Processes

Quality objectives in the TVET programs are inherently linked with the purposes of the TVET program. Varieties in the goals of the TVET programs are evident among countries. Consequently, quality standards or indicators can be different based on the objectives of the TVET program. To achieve quality objectives, training institutions can take much time when developing quality indicators.

However, quality in the TVET system cannot be ensured without due consideration to its management model in an organization. The application of Quality Assurance mechanisms can realize quality management. The establishment of Quality Assurance has the potential to enhance the implementation of TVET quality management system.

 

References

[1] Kirya Mateeke Moses: Improving the quality and competence of technical vocational education and training output through vocational school cooperation with industry: A case study of Uganda. AIP Conference Proceedings (2016)

[2] Demessew Alemu: The Issue of Quality in the TVET System. UNESCO-UNEVOC (2013)

[3] Quality assurance for school development. Guiding principles for policy development on quality assurance in school education. EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2017)

 


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