TVET Delivery & Structures
  1. TVET Delivery and Structures

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its delivery in Africa can be divided into three broad categories:

   (1) Public technical and vocational institutions;

   (2) Private technical and vocational institutions; and

   (3) Traditional apprenticeships.

Generally, there are no common standards that cover the different TVET delivery structures. Some private providers issue their own certificates and diplomas that are not necessarily aligned with national standards. The fragmented delivery structure of TVET in Africa has implications for the quality of training, standards and comparability of qualifications (certificates). Consequently, the task of improving and harmonising TVET systems and standards plays a significant role in addressing youth unemployment on the continent.


      1.1  TVET Institutions

TVET institutions play an important role in equipping young people with the required skills to enter the world of work. Considering this crucial task, it is necessary to pay attention to the state of TVET institutions in Africa. In many AU Member States, when mod­ern TVET institutions exist, they are often underfunded and lack adequate equip­ment. The Continental Strategy for TVET calls for a paradigm shift. One of the visible manifestations of this strategy would be an overhaul of the existing TVET infrastructure.


      1.2  Qualifications Framework

Qualifications framework is an instrument for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies along a continuum of agreed levels. It is a way of structuring existing and new qualifications, which are defined by learning outcomes. Qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes is one of the tools that has been used to reform and expand educational and training provision in ways that will raise skills levels, improve labour market productivity and contribute to sustainable development. However, the fragmented nature of TVET delivery in Africa has led to the multiplicity of qualifications and professional certifi­cates, many of which are of dubious quality, which in turn undermines the image of TVET.


     1.3  Quality Assurance

In the context of TVET, quality assurance generally refers to planned and systematic processes that provide confidence in services provided by TVET institutions under the remit of responsible bodies. Quality assurance of the assessment and qualification processes allows stakeholders in TVET (e.g. graduates and employers) to have confidence and trust in those qualifications. Quality assurance processes focus on the consistency of the assessment and qualification processes, so that qualifications have currency. The process also ensures that assessment meets the required occupational standards, raising the likelihood that a qualification is a valid and reliable testament to a learner’s knowledge, skills and wider competences. The implementation of systematic quality assurance processes is paramount in any TVET qualifications system.


     1.4  Teacher Training

Teaching is an essential element of knowledge transmission and skills development. Teachers and trainers in TVET guide the learners in their transition from education to the world of work. The quality of teaching therefore directly impacts the learners’ success in acquiring the necessary skills to meet labour market needs. The training of teachers in sufficient quantity to ensure that TVET institutions are adequately staffed is as important as the quality. The quality of teaching is necessary for harmonisation assurance and the mobility of teachers.


     1.5  Funding

Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls on Member States to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. One of the SDG4 targets is “equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”. Across the African continent, quality TVET systems can only be sustained if more financial resources are mobilised. TVET is generally expensive in terms of cost per student. This should be reflected in the budget allocation of the TVET sector.