Experimenting new tools to promote vocational training for specific target groups: Efforts to change the society’s prejudice about vocational education

With the support of the Vietnamese-German Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam (GIZ), on September 30th, October 1st and 2nd 2017, staff of the Admission Office and teachers of the Ho Chi Minh City Vocational College of Technology (HVCT) have been trained to experiment new tools to promote vocational training for two specific target groups including high school and secondary teachers and students. The activities are under the training on developing enrollment plans for specific groups (2nd phase), following its 1st phase in August 2017.

High school and secondary teachers are close to the students, thereby they have significant influence on the student’s awareness and perceptions. In addition, they also have the duty of providing career guidance to their students. Furthermore, many parents trust the teachers and often seek for advice for their children’s future orientation. However, in fact, many high school and secondary teachers do not have enough information about college education, vocational training and the advantages of vocational training. The common expectations among them are that going to university is the best pathway for high school graduates. Therefore, those teachers are one of the most important target groups that must be approached to contribute to improve the society’s awareness about vocational training, and as a result, contributing to solve the problem of enrollment in TVET institutes.

On the morning of October 1st 2017, 100 teachers of Long Truong Secondary School, Phuoc Binh Secondary School and Centers of Continuing Education of Thu Duc District and District 9 attended the seminar “Education – Career Guidance and Enrollment between HVCT, Secondary schools and Centers of Continuing Education”. At the event, in addition to direct communication with leaders of HVCT on vocational training at the College, the roadmap as well as opportunities for advanced education and career development after vocational training, the teachers also visited the College’s facilities for teaching and learning, participated in a tour among HVCT’s workshops, such as: Environment, Electricity, Refrigeration, Metal Cutting, Automotive, etc …to visually understand the College’s vocational training activities. Those teachers are very pleased with the College’s commitment of ensuring the employment for 100% of trainees after their graduation. Moreover, the spacious and modern facilities together with the enthusiastic and dynamic teachers of HVCT who have been educated and trained in developed countries such as Germany, USA and Australia, etc. also impressed the high school teachers. Eventually, the teachers were satisfied with the useful information provided through the event which will enhance the career orientation for their students. “Although I have read brochures about HVCT, the visit to HVCT today is indeed beyond my imagination!”, said Mr. Bui Van Nam, a representative of Long Truong Secondary School.

In addition to high school and secondary teachers, their students are the main target group that are in need of information about vocational training, so that they would be aware that vocational training at college or intermediate level is also one of the promising options for their future career. With that goal, on the morning of October 2nd 2017, HVCT staff of Admission Office and teachers organised an Information session for 800 students of the Center of Continuing Education of Thu Duc District, in order to provide information about the College’s vocational training programmes. Although the session only lasted in 15 minutes, it did receive warm welcome and enthusiastic participation of the Center’s students. Through the event, those students start being aware that after secondary or high school graduation, vocational training is also an alternative with great potentials for their personal and career development besides going to university.

With the support of a trainer recognized by International Labor Organization (ILO) and the project staff, the participants have learned valuable lessons from the two pilot activities of experimenting new tools to promote vocational training for specific target groups. They have also revised those tools in order to replicate the similar activities in and outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

These efforts are expected to contribute to change the perceptions of teachers and students about vocational training as well as the career path after the vocational training, thereby improving the effectiveness of enrollment in TVET institutes and career guidance./.


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