TVE for all

25. Besides preparing people for the world of work in the early years of the twenty-first century, TVE will be expected to function as an instrument of social cohesion. It must address the growing marginalization of young people and adults in the industrialized as well as the developing world. Of particular concern is the under-representation of women in TVE. Religious traditions, social structures, cultural practices and value systems may assign an inferior status for women in many sectors of society and restrict their opportunities for effective participation in socio-economic activities. However, the traditional perceptions of appropriate roles for women in the workforce are being challenged and TVE will need to respond with gender-inclusive learning programmes, both in delivery and content, and with faculty competent and sensitive in this area. For the promotion of equal access of girls and women to TVE courses, more effective forms of educational and vocational guidance must be provided, along with gender-sensitive guidance and counselling materials that are carefully and attractively designed to include a variety of information on new areas and on those traditionally dominated by men. Similar measures are needed to attract men into previously female-dominated training and careers. Some countries have attempted to overcome the gender imbalance in the numbers of TVE graduates by creating special vocational schools for girls. Yet, for many countries the question is

What are the most effective methods for achieving the ultimate goal of gender-equity
and equal access for all without creating new segregation?

26. People with disabilities frequently have difficulty accessing TVE. Often the obstacles to their inclusion reside in the economic situation of countries. Conditions of recession and high unemployment make access particularly difficult. Barriers also exist in the education system. These are the lack of good basic education and the frequent failure of the traditional special training centres to respond to the requirements of the world of work. Another difficulty is the underestimation of educators and vocational guidance personnel of the ability and potential of people with disabilities to take up competitive paid employment. However, sensitivity to the particular needs of these people is increasing in most societies. It is now being recognized that people with disabilities have even more need for structured training and targeted preparation for employment. TVE should develop teaching/learning strategies and programmes that enable all learners, including those with disabilities, to participate and benefit. Programmes need to allow potential learners to broaden their aspirations and achievements within their social and economic context. Such facilities may require close working relations between the individual, the family and community agencies.

27. To meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, TVE must provide adequate skills training opportunities for marginalized groups, including out-of-school youth, retirees, migrants and their children, and demobilized soldiers in post-conflict situations. In many developing countries, the majority of the population is engaged in informal labour markets with poor working and living conditions. This creates the need for increased TVE opportunities and flexible systems accessible to these groups, to out-of-school youth and unemployed people. The debate then is

Whether regular TVE programmes are comprehensive and adequately inclusive to
accommodate the needs of all learners, including previously marginalized groups.

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