Yangchen C Rinzin
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) will be delinked from labour ministry and granted autonomy through a National TVET Council.
The decision, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said, is an attempt to develop and revamp the image of TVET in the country.
If everything goes as per the government’s plan, TVET would become autonomous by 2020 and the plan would be rolled out. This means the current eight public TVET institutes will operate under the National TVET Council.
The entry level into the TVET institutes would be upgraded to class XII instead of class X.
The government through an executive order would establish an interim office by next month to continue work on setting up the National TVET Council.
The interim office, which will function for two years, will have staff on secondment including the acting president and three acting directors appointed by the government. The office would have an operation budget of Nu 30 million.
With this, the department of technical education and department of occupational standards will be also delinked from the labour ministry and their transition plan would be completed by June next year.
The TVET council will directly report to prime minister for the first three years.
Two expert groups were created to work on the framework and curriculum to establish if the institutions could function together under an independent organisation. Then TVET governance and institutional mechanism draft report was prepared. According to the draft, National TVET Council would govern the provision of all aspects of TVET in Bhutan.
The Council would provide and conduct high quality industry-relevant TVET to the persons employed or seeking to be employed. It would also administer and manage its financial, administrative, human resources, and academic affairs, among others.
It would also administer and manage all public TVET institutes including establishment of new or discontinuation of existing institutes.
A draft Royal Charter for TVET council has also been prepared.
According to the draft curriculum framework, the reformed TVET would provide courses at certificate, diploma and advanced diploma levels. For the first time, TVET graduates would also have an opportunity to go to degree level, master or doctorate.
The draft also recommends 69 courses under 11 different priority sectors and each institute would have a minimum of 10 courses. The courses would begin from 2022.
The priority sectors include computing and ICT, creative arts and design, business and services, fitness, beauty and wellness, media and communication, construction, mechanical, and electrical and electronics among others. The courses would start phase-wise.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that this is the government’s attempt to transform TVET and cater to the skills needs of the 21st Century.
Announcing its decision of making TVET institutes autonomous on November 7, Lyonchhen said that the reform would produce youth as work ready, world ready and future ready.
Lyonchhen told Kuensel that through such reform, it would create good platform and career path to address unemployment in a most professional way.
“That is why solving unemployment is not about how many number of jobs we’ve created. We’re also targeting the relevance of our education by trying to match job skills that our youth possess versus what is required in the market.”
Lyonchhen added that revamping of TVET is also a major step in transforming education.