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Technical Education, Vocational Education & Training

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Introduction

The need for technical skills in wealth creation is increasing where the application of science and technology is becoming a must. Hands-on learning and knowledge in mechanization and automation is constantly demanded in the labour market. One way of getting skilled labourers in the country is by providing them with technical and vocational education/training. Technical and vocational education/training is a necessary ingredient towards poverty reduction as it provides opportunity for self employment.

Current Situation

At present there is a very limited capacity for technical and vocational education and training in the country. While enrolment in general education has expanded rapidly within the last ten years, technical and vocational education has experienced a marginal growth. There are few recognized institutions which offer this type of education/training in Zanzibar. In 2004, there were 4 schools and one college providing technical education with a total enrolment of 700 students (Budget Speech 2003/4) of which 228 or 32.6% of this total enrolment were girls. In addition, there were 5 formal institutions providing vocational education. These schools offer traditional courses such as carpentry and carving, blacksmithing, cookery, tailoring, electrical fitting, and masonry. Recently new areas in vocational training such as computer literacy, accountancy and finance have been introduced. In addition, non-formal education programmes, which promote literacy and numeracy skills development, include some skills training particularly for women income generating groups. As a result, a significant proportion of skilled labour in Zanzibar is imported from outside the country.

Strengths

  • Good performance of technical schools in National Examinations.
  • Existence of government departments dealing with technical and vocational education/training.
  • There are no gender barriers in student admission into technical schools.
  • Plans are underway to establish vocational centres with business incubators.
  • Existence of a draft vocational education and training policy.

Weaknesses

  • Selection criteria for these vocational and technical institutions are not clear.
  • Students do not get exposure to vocational and technical skills at any level except in the biased technical schools.
  • Pre-vocational and vocational education does not conform to national goals.
  • Female graduates are less likely to be employed.
  • Some students have a negative attitude to technical education.
  • Shortage of instructors, experts and facilities.
  • The sub-sector is under-funded.
  • Lack of coordination among vocational training providers.
  • Technical and vocational education does not cater for the needs of students with special education needs.

Policy Statements:

  • Technical education and vocational education and training shall be designed in line with labour market demands.
  • General secondary schools shall provide pre-vocational training and pre-technical skills as a means for introducing and exposing young people to various career possibilities.
  • There shall be a single body responsible for regulation, monitoring, certification and controlling of technical education and vocational education and training.
  • Government shall liberalize the establishment and ownership of technical and vocational education and training institutions.

Strategies

  • Identifying and diversifying skills needed to satisfy labour market demands.
  • Developing and expanding vocational and technical education centres.
  • Training a cadre of educators for pre-vocational, vocational and technical education/training.
  • Involving the community in providing apprenticeship to vocational education trainees.
  • Increasing the budget for technical and vocational education at the secondary and basic level.
  • Establishing a national vocational training agency to regulate the development of vocational education.
  • Making vocational and technical education/training accessible to children with special needs.
  • Introducing pre-vocational skills at the basic education cycle.
  • Making ICT training an integral part of vocational training.
  • Establishing business and technological incubators to provide expertise and to nurture undeveloped centres.
  • Establishing multipurpose workshops for pre-vocational training in secondary schools.
  • Establishing links with Ministries responsible for commerce and industry, vocational training and private sector.