Tec organises strategic planning workshop on tertiary education and training in Seychelles


05-December-2012

Tertiary education and training encompass all forms of post-secondary education and training, professional centres, universities, apprenticeship schemes and work-related training in so far as the qualifications are at level 3 of the national qualifications framework (NQF) and above. All programmes which are of the level of certificate and above are considered tertiary in nature. The exception is the A-Levels which are considered part of general education.

Following initial work in educating stakeholders in education, the commission has seen the need to bring together representatives of government organisations, industry, civil society and education together to reflect on the challenges of education and training in the second decade of the 21st century and to prioritise issues which they believe should be tackled with some urgency.
 
This intention is to make education and training more relevant to the world of work and to improve its quality from the standpoint of both teacher and learner – all the while bearing in mind the constraints of a small island state, and Tec’s legal mandate and capacity.

From the intense debates which took place in the workshop held on November 21, a number of issues came to the fore and these include:

• The need to have a new “business model” for tertiary education and training so that expansion of the sector is not carried on the back of government alone;

• The need for greater flexibility in responding to the needs of industry, youth aspirations, and societal trends;

• Promotion of the value of technical programmes and hoisting these up so that learners realise that these lead to credible career paths;

• Making provision for new modes of learning (like virtual learning), and promoting second chance education within the context of life-long learning;

• Providing for character building experiences so that students make the most of the opportunities that they are provided and are able to contribute effectively by living more wholesome lives;

• Making provision for mechanisms in which departments and organisations which work directly with education are able to articulate needs and for these to be acted on efficiently;
 
• Creating an enabling environment for national debates on education, and for sectors of the economy and civil society partners to engage with Tec.

As all who work in this field realise, education and training are a process in which we are forever refining and adapting, in large improving on previous experiences. This is the virtuous circle of education. What the stakeholders provided in the workshop are broad guides as to what Tec should do and where it should direct its efforts. Some years down the line we would need to take stock of a new environment and reorient our efforts accordingly.

As of this moment, Tec has to translate the intentions of its stakeholders into reality with the  means at its disposal. This is the hard part. The credibility of Tec as an organisation rests on this.

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