The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR) has identified six success indicators to improve the quality and relevance of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the country in its Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
Presenting the targets during the APA review with the Prime Minister, MoLHR Secretary Sonam Wangchuk said that the first target was to professionalise the TVET system, which would include upgrade of TVET instructors with the diploma-level qualification and above, and award national certificates to the technical training institutes (TTIs) and Institutes of Zorig Chusum (IZC) graduates.
Other activities include facilitation of assessment and accreditation of courses and TVET institutes, establishment, expansion and optimise the use of TTI and IZC facilitates and private training institutes, and diversification of TVET courses.
However, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering questioned the two success indicators targeted to professionalise the TVET and asked how would this help in professionalising the TVET.
“Isn’t there any other activity that we can devise to professionalise the TVET and look into what activities could help the instructors to learn more to teach better,” Lyonchhen asked. “We can send the instructors outside with the advanced certificate, but can the ministry professionalise the TVET system as mentioned among the activities?”
Lyonchhen advised the ministry to add more success indicators to achieve these targets, or change the two success indicators related to curriculum, infrastructure, number and quality of lecturer. When achieved in the end, Lyonchhen added, this would, have improved the TVET.
“The weightage of the indicators show the importance of activities have the same weightage. Are all the activities same and equally important?” Lyonchhen asked. “I want the ministry to talk with all the agencies, find out which agencies need what kind of skilled workers. The ministry should channelise and provide the skills through TVET.”
Lyonchhen reminded the ministry to work and focus on the way forward for TVET. He urged both the ministry and the government’s performance management division to sit together and re-adjust the annual targets and change the weightage. “The weightage should be higher so that the ministry is encouraged to work hard and to bring in substantial outcome at the end of the fiscal year.”
If everything goes as planned, the ministry will be able to facilitate jobs to 52,930 job seekers through establishment and implement of employment responsibility system by the end of 12th Plan, or at least provide jobs to 10,069 by the end of this fiscal year.
Sonam Wangchuk said that at least 3,320 job seekers would be trained in various critical skills by implementing critical skills training (pre-service HRD) to facilitate the employment of job seekers. He said the ministry would enhance employability and facilitate placement/engagement of the job seekers through youth engagement and livelihood programme and youths placed through overseas employment programme.
The ministry aims to engage 6,000 youth by the end of the current Plan.
“The numbers are based on the nine sectors’ annual work plan and their targets to create employment. So the achievement of our targets would depend on the fulfilment of these sectors,” Sonam Wangchuk said. “Till now, only labour ministry was responsible to create jobs, but now, for the first time, we’re trying to involve all the sectors.”
Lyonchhen reminded the ministry to be careful with the targets.
“Some are not even sure how they ended up with these numbers. Work on this again and how the jobs would be created,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen also asked the ministry to also relook into what kind of skilled workers the country needs. “We need to plan activities based on the demands. If there is a consistent demand for a particular skill, we should establish a training centre.”
Some of the activity the ministry were targeted to improve working conditions and the environment in the private and corporate sector and to achieve startup and CSI flagship objectives.
Some of the critical support the ministry sought from the Prime Minister and government was support from the nine sectors in employment creation, establish linkages with other countries for overseas employment, a requirement of additional human resources and office space constraints, among others.
Yangchen C Rinzin