Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Among challenges receiving considerable and increased attention in many SIDS is Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), in view of the difficulties faced by many young people on leaving school in finding employment.

Progress and opportunities to align this branch of education with the methods and objectives of sustainable development was the focus of debates at an international technical experts' meeting on Learning for Work, Citizenship and Sustainability, organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in Bonn, Germany, in October 2004.

'Towards a Convergence of Knowledge Acquisition and Skills Development' is the focus of one 2005 brochure. Recent initiatives include that of UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to promote entrepreneurship among those involved in the informal economy. Related regional programmes include the Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), which promotes regional cooperation through a network of institutions across the region, with a focus on education from the secondary level and beyond.

In terms of revitalization of TVET, country-based projects include those on the revision of Bahrain's commercial education curriculum and integrating skills development in Education for All in Samoa. Other recent and ongoing activities in the Pacific have included a training module on 'Learning about Small Business', a regional forum on improving the quality of technical and vocational education and training, and support to the Pacific Association of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PATVET). For further information, contact Yayoi Segi-Vltchek, Education Programme Specialist, UNESCO-Apia (; yayoi(at)

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