Enhancing international co-operation in TVE

34. The ability of TVE to meet the challenges of globalization and technological development will depend greatly on clear vision, strong leadership and focused programmes of action. It is also abundantly evident that firm partnerships between all the stakeholders of TVE, co-ordinated effectively by governments, will be the key to the success of such an effort.

35. International and bilateral development co-operation agencies have been playing a major role in financing TVE as well as in providing policy direction for developing countries. Development banks and bilateral agencies have made substantial investments in TVE in these countries. However, the models promoted by donor agencies have not always been appropriate for the local context. Recipients have often inherited projects with little or no technology transfer and high recurrent costs, necessitating continued dependence on the goodwill of the donor. When donor support has ended, projects have tended to wind down shortly after or to limp on with diminished effectiveness and efficiency. Furthermore, uncoordinated donor policies have at times resulted in competition and duplication of effort in the recipient countries.

36. In view of the limited success of past development co-operation efforts in the field of TVE, a new global strategy in TVE is undoubtedly needed to address the socio-economic challenges of the next century. Within such a global strategy, UNESCO is well placed to play an active role because of the Organization's comparative advantage in the field of education, its links with the Ministries of Education in its Member States and its affiliations with education non-governmental organizations and teacher associations.

37. UNESCO, the United Nations Specialized Agency with the longest history of development co-operation in education, has promoted TVE internationally during the past several decades. In 1987, UNESCO held in Berlin the first International Congress on the Development and Improvement of Technical and Vocational Education which led to the adoption of a Convention on Technical and Vocational Education in 1989. This Convention set out the concepts and guidelines for Member States to improve and further develop their TVE systems.

38. On the basis of the discussions at the 29th Session of UNESCO's General Conference, the Organization will launch a new TVE programme from the year 2000 to meet the broader scope of the challenges of the era. This Congress is therefore being held by UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Korea in order to present all TVE's stakeholders with a forum to devise a strategy for such a programme.

39. The Seoul Congress represents an opportunity to achieve a degree of consensus among the stakeholders about their roles in the development of TVE during the next two decades or so. The roles of government, TVE institutions, employers, the community, the private sector, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizationss, funding agencies and bilateral development co-operation agencies may be clearly defined. A strategy for their concerted and co-ordinated action may be devised so that synergistic results can be obtained from the resources and effort invested. The Congress is expected to explore and define the complementary roles of various stakeholders and to identify strategies to increase their participation in TVE, taking into account differences among the stakeholders, sectors and levels of development of the private sector in various countries. The main outcome of the Congress will be a set of recommendations which takes into consideration the proposed roles for the various stakeholders in the development of TVE to address the challenges of the twenty-first century.

40. The set of recommendations will also form the basis for UNESCO's new TVE programme, to be launched in the year 2000. This new programme will be implemented in close collaboration with the International Labour Office (ILO) and other partners as well as the governments of UNESCO's 186 Member States. The programme will be designed to serve the needs of the Organization's Member States in the next decade, with a view to helping them construct bridges to a more prosperous future through lifelong learning and training.


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