Over the past 4 years the TVET Sector Development Partner Network, led by GDVT/MoLISA and the German Embassy, has proven to be a suitable forum for exchange and donor coordination in the TVET sector in Viet Nam. The TVET Sector Development Partner Network is an initiative that resulted from the Viet Nam Development Partnership Forum (VDPF) in 2013. In the context of this forum a technical working group on TVET, including representatives from MoLISA, multilateral donors, bilateral donors and implementation agencies as well as NGOs, was formed. This working group quickly evolved into an active network which explored potential options for the Vietnamese Government to coordinate ODA activities of development partners in TVET in Viet Nam.
After the reassignment of the responsibility for vocational training to MoLISA last year, GDVT resumed the regular meetings of this network on 21 June 2017. Dr Nguyen Hong Minh, General Director of GDVT, and Ms Luisa Bergfeld, First Secretary of the German Embassy, who co-chaired the meeting, welcomed the participants. In his opening speech Dr Nguyen Hong Minh highlighted the priorities of GDVT in the current reform process of the TVET system. These include reforming the regulatory system following the new TVET law, strengthening the cooperation with the business sector in TVET, defining the mechanism for the autonomy of TVET institutes, and standardizing elements related to training programmes, teaching staff and infrastructure, restructuring the network of TVET institutes and developing the capacity of teaching and management staff.
Mr Tran Quoc Huy, Head of GDVT Office, gave an update on the implementation of the new TVET Law and informed the development partners about the TVET Strategy until 2020 which GDVT is currently drafting. An essential element of the reform efforts, the autonomy of TVET institutes which is planned to become effective by 2020, was explained by Mr Nguyen Chien Thang, Director of the Financing and Planning Department of GDVT. Apart from being more independent in conducting training, in selecting and developing personnel and in organisational matters, TVET institutes will receive public funding according to a more output-based system. This means that GDVT will no longer provide funds based on the number of enrolled students but, following an order and bid mechanism, will reimburse the training costs after successful graduation of the students. The development partners emphasised several challenges related to such a financing mechanism. It is indispensable that the business sector has a decisive say in defining the demand in order to ensure the employability of the graduates. Another challenge is to measure the outcome of training. The development partners also recommended that a certain degree of standardisation is necessary to ensure the quality of the training, for example occupational standards. However, an over-standardisation should be avoided.
Dr Nguyen Hong Minh concluded the meeting by emphasizing that “in order to complete the priority tasks of GDVT successfully, the support of the development partners is needed”. The next meeting of the TVET Sector Development Partner Network will focus on the topic of cooperation with the business sector in TVET.