TVET to put Nepal on world stage

Nepal is one of the ten fastest nations making development gains in terms of the Human Development Index in the past four decades. Yet, half of Nepal’s population living below the poverty line while their public spending on healthcare is a tiny US $3.10 per person.

Nepal’s current education system isn’t serving the people.  As a result, the nation is failing to move forward in helping employ locals.  What’s needed is a hands-on approach to VET training that actually meets industry opportunities.

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According to Annapurna Post’s analysis, “we have to internalise that skill is our base and utilise the natural and human resources and thus raise our national productivity.  This is the only way to achieve economic and social progress and reduce poverty.”

Workforce diversify is an issue

Nepal has over 100 different social groups.  Opportunities for women in the workforce go largely untapped.  People with disabilities as well as religious groups are also under represented.  And less than 1% of the Nepalese staff are in senior management level positions.

In terms of achieving diversity, it’s a combined effort – it takes commitment and promotion of a diversified culture.

A recent report, Workforce Diversity in International Agencies in Nepal, makes these suggestions, to build a balanced, cohesive workforce (and society);

  • Developing workforce diversity and inclusion as a corporate goal
  • Knowing one’s own organization’s diversity profile to identify gaps – assessing gender, ethnicity, age and religion
  • Redefining and reconceptualising “merit” to capture skills and social and behavioural competencies beyond educational qualifications and work experience
  • Adopting recruitment and selection procedures that are diversity-sensitive, such as diverse interview panels
  • Following alternative methods for vacancy announcements to reach excluded and remote areas
  • Providing internships for candidates from excluded groups with intensive mentoring and in-service training for female staff and staff from excluded groups
  • Building awareness and capacity among all staff, particularly managers, on diversity and inclusion
  • Incorporating criteria reflecting work performance on diversity and inclusion issues in performance evaluation
  • Funding excluded groups’ participation in training and skill-building courses, thereby building professional capacity for any field of development, public or private.

A centralised TVET approach  

Nepal would benefit from integrating all training activities under ‘one umbrella’, to provide education that connects the nation’s needs and the student.  Asian Development Bank’s Technical Assistance Report suggests strengthening policy formulation, and the capacity of front-line service providers.

This could be a solution to the number of students dropping out of school or not even enrolling – as well as connecting Nepalese without access to TVET due to socio-economic reasons.

Estimations suggest that if Nepal’s unemployed workforce could be trained and sent abroad, the present foreign earnings will double, maybe triple, and the country will boost its economic and technical progress.

Interestingly, TVET benefits even span to the health education space.  A research article on Migration, HIV and Technical Education in Nepal has linked high numbers of HIV in the mid-western and far-western region of Nepal, to the lack of technical and vocational education in those areas.

While TVET has long existed in Nepal, 1989 was the inaugural year for the Council of Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).  Many schools and vocational centres have been introduced since then.

The Higher Secondary Education Board now runs classes of higher education, aiming at helping youth access TVET at a cheaper rate.  A clear strategy is required to take TVET to the next level in Nepal.

If you’d like support with VET, workforce development or capability building in your country, please email Wendy Perry on wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au.

January 2017

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