“Dear teachers and management of TVET Institutes: You hold the key to implement change and to enhance the quality of training by means of labour market orientation”, Ms Nguyen Thi Hang, former Minister of MoLISA and current chairwomen of the Vocational Education and Training and Social Works Association, emphasized at the meeting on “Reviewing the 3-years implementation of project of developing High Quality TVET Institutes, orientation and tasks till 2020”. The meeting, which was attended by over 200 representatives from the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), various Provincial Peoples’ Committees, line ministries, TVET institutes and the business sector took place in Nha Trang on August 25th, 2017.
The aim of the meeting was to review the three-year implementation period of the Decision 761 which includes six criteria that need to be met by TVET institutes in order to be accredited as a High Quality TVET Institute. The Decision lists 45 TVET institutes selected to become High Quality TVET Institutes. The applicability of the criteria is subject to a revision process commissioned by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and implemented by the Vietnamese Vocational Training Accreditation Agency (VVTAA)/DVET since October 2015. The revision process of the Decision 761 is being supported within the frame of the Vietnamese-German “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam” implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Within the frame of the Vietnamese-German Development Cooperation the development of High Quality TVET Institutes/Centres of Excellence (CoE) is a key aspect since 2010. A joint GDVT-GIZ CoE concept of 2011 lays the ground for pilot activities at currently two TVET institutes, LILAMA2 International Technology College (LILAMA2) and HCM College of Technology II (HVCT). Furthermore, it will serve as basis for the support at the Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation (VCMI). The concept highlights two main functions of a High Quality TVET Institute/CoE. These were introduced by Dr Horst Sommer, Programme Director of the “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam” to and reconfirmed by a high ranking audience at a workshop on the development of 45 High Quality TVET Institutes/CoE in Da Lat in 2013:
Function 1: Providing high-quality and employment-relevant initial and further training following international standards
Function 2: Fulfilling additional tasks for the Vietnamese TVET system (including further training for TVET teaching staff and serving as an assessment and certification centre)
In frame of the current revision process of the Decision 761 and based on these functions, a criteria catalogue was jointly developed and successfully piloted during the past months in cooperation between VVTAA, GIZ and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Specifically, the focus on integrating the business sector in the criteria catalogue which Dr Binh, Director of VVTAA, presented at the meeting in Nha Trang, met broad acceptance by the participants.
In her presentation, Ms Britta van Erckelens, Deputy Programme Director of the “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”, referred to the five success factors of TVET in Germany, and explained that the business sector should be involved in occupational standard setting and training programme development. Furthermore, the business sector should play an important role in the delivery of training and in the assessment and examination process. She drew the attention of the audience to the cooperative training approach by outlining experiences from the pilot activities in the two TVET institutes LILAMA 2 and HVCT. The lessons learnt show that the development of a High Quality TVET Institute/CoE is a time and resource intensive process. Referring to German experiences, TVET institutes should specialise on a certain number of occupational fields that are in line with the demands of businesses in their proximity to ensure effective cooperation.
The developed criteria catalogue is an important step towards the expected quality breakthrough in TVET as it incorporates the close cooperation with the business sector in TVET. “This”, Ms Britta van Erckelens agreed with Ms Nguyen Thi Hang, “is crucial, since it is the demand oriented skills of the graduates that prove the quality of the training”. In addition, she emphasised, that the necessary autonomy and flexibility of the TVET Institutes to cooperate with the business sector should not be contradicted by detailed rules and regulations that hamper this cooperation.
Participants expressed their great interest in the presentation and the highly practical approach. Dr Nguyen Tien Tung, Rector of Phuc Yen College of Industry, stated that “the presentation included a lot of practical ideas. I can see much clearer now what is expected of a High Quality TVET Institute and CoE”.
Concluding, Dr Nguyen Hong Minh, DVET General Director, shared that these relevant experiences will be considered in the revision of the Decision 761 which will be submitted to the Prime Minister in October 2017.