This is African Hydra’s first blog. If you aren’t sure what to expect, kindly take a quick peek at the ‘About Us’ section of our website. But in a summary, all we will talk about in this blog and the many others to follow are “SKILLS”. I promise not to bore your you with a lot of technical jargons. Our aim is to get as many young people as possible interested in skills. My name is Daniel Odediran. I am a Technical and Vocational Skills advocate and I will be taking you on a journey into the land of Skills and the possibilities that abound if one had any skill at all. I won’t be the only Author. From time to time, you’d get to meet my friends who are also crazy about skills.
If you’ve never heard of the term Technical and Vocational Skills (TVET) you’re in the right place. According to Wikipedia, TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) is education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment. TVET uses formal, non-formal and informal learning. TVET is recognized to be a crucial vehicle for social equity, inclusion and sustainable development. Throughout the course of history, various terms have been used to describe elements of the field that are now conceived as comprising TVET. These include: Apprenticeship Training, Vocational Education, Technical Education, Technical-Vocational Education (TVE), Occupational Education (OE), Vocational Education and Training (VET), Professional and Vocational Education (PVE), Career and Technical Education (CTE), Workforce Education (WE), Workplace Education (WE), etc.
Technical and Vocational Education and training (TVET) has been recognized as the wide-diversified education system instrumental in making the remarkable contribution to economic growth of a country by a way of suitable manpower production relevant to the needs of industry, society and changing technological work environment.
In essence, education remains the single factor that guarantees both individual growth and community development. Thus, if an individual acquires skills and the right attitude, and realistically apply the skills and right attitude for the benefit of his society, it means that education has helped to change (transform) the individual for better and pragmatically too. Pragmatism involves thinking about (i.e. knowledge) and treating issues in a realistic and practical manner to achieve result rather than by theory (Collins English Dictionary, 2011). In other words, education is an agent of human development, social mobility and national transformation.
TVET is the form of education that advocates development of the head (knowledge), training of the hand (dexterity) and enriching the heart (conscientiousness and painstaking), –the 3Hs. TVET is a total deviation from the previous emphasis on 3Rs, -reading, writing and arithmetic, which was fundamentally a form of credentialing entry into elite status with its graduates/products roaming about seeking for the non-existing white-collar jobs. TVET is the education for those who need it, those who want it, and those who want to progress by it. It is a result-oriented form of education.
Unlike the past where a job could be held for life, it is common place to change vocations several times. TVET enables that flexibility in two ways. One is providing broad based technical knowledge and transversal skills on which different occupations can be based on. The second is providing continuing vocational training to workers. In contrast with the industrial paradigm of the old economy, today’s global economy lays the onus on the worker to continually reinvent himself or herself. In the past, workers were assured of a job for life, with full time employment, clear occupational roles and well-established career paths. This is no longer the case. The knowledge dependent global economy is characterized by rapid changes in technology and related modes of work. Often, workers find themselves declared redundant and out of work. TVET today has the responsibility of re-skilling such workers to enable them find and get back to work. Apart from providing work related education, TVET is also a site for personal development and emancipation.
At this point, I’m certain you now have a deeper understanding of all TVET is about. At African Hydra, we are laser focused on rewriting the African workplace/workforce narrative through:
- Proper sensitization (which is precisely what our blog posts will do)
- Promotion and
- Empowerment of young people by training them to develop skills.
So, if you’re between 18-40 and you are unemployed, underemployed or feeling disconnected with your purpose or passion, you might need to stick around for the next blog post: “ The Importance of TVET”.
Meanwhile, you can check out the recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Paris from 3 to 18 November 2015 here.