Improving TVET through online information sharing

Mr. Herve Huot-Marchand, Chief of Section, Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters and Ms. Sakshi Ojha of STEP Innovations during the virtual meeting on MAHE process © UNESCO

The ongoing digital transformation has led to massive changes in the skillsets needed for work and life. Alongside this, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is increasingly preparing workers to meet the challenges presented by the transition from the industrial age to the information age, with its concomitant post-industrial human resource requirements and the changing world of work. There is no doubt that a successful use of digital technologies is a key factor in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, hence a reason why TVET institutions have to make best use of new technologies to provide adequate training.

Borne out of a Forum on ”Skills for Youth Employment”, convened by UNESCO HQ and Nairobi Office in March 2016 in Mahe, Seychelles, the outcome of which is dubbed the “MAHE process”, advocates for the improvement of TVET across Eastern Africa through sharing of information and working towards regional harmonization and mutualization. This was organized in line with the UNESCO global strategy for TVET 2016-2021. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the disruption of learning that arose from the global pandemic also brought about a pertinent need for sharing of TVET information through online platforms.

It is in this regard, that UNESCO through the Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR II) project, supported the development of an online Regional TVET MAHE platform towards the implementation of the ‘’MAHE Process”. The draft regional online platform covering 13 countries in the Eastern Africa Region was presented to UNESCO staff at Headquarters and in the Eastern Africa region through an online meeting that took place on 7 February 2022. The meeting was moderated by Herve Huot-Marchand, Chief of Section, Youth, Literacy and Skills Development alongside Mame Mor Diarra Ndiaye, Regional Coordinator for the BEAR II project. Present also at the meeting were Song Hun Kim and Hiromichi Katayama from the Youth, Literacy and Skills Development unit at UNESCO Headquarters and other UNESCO staff from Eastern Africa.

STEP Innovation, the consulting firm tasked to develop the online platform, presented it and did a live demonstration to the participants. With eight priority functions and sixteen key functions on TVET value, the platform has incorporated the skills gateway for some of the BEAR II project countries, notably Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar. In addition, the platform has fused lessons from BEAR I project, including country profiles with work showcased in the areas of curriculum, policy analysis, governance of TVET as well as TVET related publications. The resources platform has provided structured information about TVET events, publications as well as collaboration hubs. The platform is user-friendly and allows discussions and sharing of experiences, best practices and lessons learnt from different countries.

Once the platform is completed and launched, capacities of the key stakeholders in the region will be built on the operational modalities of the platform, with a handing over expected thereafter.