The Role of TVET in Africa’s Development Agenda
AbstractAt the dawn of independence for most African states, it was realized that complete independence could only be achieved through the Political, Economic and Socio- Cultural frontiers. Much has been achieved on the political frontier while, to some extent, on the social frontiers. However, the economic frontier has been constrained by Africa’s lack of critical skills and technologies in the production of goods and services essential for meeting such basic needs as food, shelter, water, clothing, energy and infrastructure. Fifty years down the road of political emancipation, it has finally dawned on us that while Education is the key to our development, Technical and Vocational education and Training (TVET) is the master key to unlock our potential in meeting our needs and wants. This can only be achieved through the application of knowledge and skills of a well educated and trained workforce and the application of technologies in a sustainable manner. TVET has all along been the missing link in Africa’s development agenda. In the 21st century; a new global labour market has emerged. There is increasing demand for higher skilled labour with tertiary and higher education. Those with lower skills with basic education will find it more difficult to find jobs with better remuneration and decent work environments. When all is said and done at the end of the day we all treasure a warm meal, a secure shelter, a comfortable chair to sit on and affordable means to enable us to communicate and travel just to mention a few. In this paper, we take a critical analysis of TVET’s role and the necessary policy and legal frameworks that should be availed for it to effectively impact Africa’s development agenda in a competitive global labour market of the 21st century.
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