Earlier this year, the government announced that Vocation Education and Training (TVET) would be made the fourth stream for Class XI and XII from 2020 academic session.
However, for the past nine months the education and labour ministries have not been able finalise the plan. Both the ministries had met only twice.
It is also not clear as to which ministry should oversee the TVET programme, as both the ministries could not come to terms.
The TVET programme is currently with the labour ministry.
During the labour ministry’s APA review, Secretary Sonam Wangchuk said that two rounds of meeting with the education ministry took place to work on the activities and collaboration.
“However, there is certain TVET course that is different from other existing streams where the syllabus is covered in a year. TVET requires certain hours of practical to complete. If you cannot meet this, then one cannot get the TVET certificate,” he said.
He further explained that it was found that the students, especially with the Commerce and Arts backgrounds, would find it difficult to study the TVET. Education ministry also shared the same concern.
“Otherwise, we might have to change the whole curriculum or syllabus accordingly for all the streams. This is again not possible with TVET,” Sonam Wangchuk said.
Lyonchhen said that it is not necessary to change the curriculum and that instead 75 percent of the curriculum should be made related to TVET. The rest could be English, Finance, and Accountancy.
“It is time we thought out of the box. We cannot rely only on the existing other streams because their subjects are fixed. Ultimately, the person that opts for TVET should earn because of skills,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen added that the student of regular Class XI and XII cannot be made to study Class X level TVET curriculum because it would be a waste. This is why it is important that when they opt for TVET, they should be able to learn TVET curriculum designed for post Class X and XII curriculum.”
“Both hard work and effort are important. Labour ministry should reprioritize the programme,” Lyonchhen said.
During the education ministry’s APA review last week, Lyonchhen expressed disappointment and said that it was disappointing to see the ministries working in silo.
He said that a trilateral meeting would be arranged soon.
Recently, National Council questioned the education ministry’s preparedness and capacity to include TVET as a fourth stream. The house recommended the ministry to strengthen the existing TVET system under the labour ministry instead.
Yangchen C Rinzin