On Thursday, 2nd February 2023, members of the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee Sub-Groups converged to finalize the Operational/Masterplan of The Gambia’s 1st National TVET Policy document for its implementation.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology organised the meeting with support from the International Trade Centre (ITC).
In his opening statement, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technical) Mucktarr M.Y Darboe highlighted that the finalization of the TVET Policy Masterplan is a crucial step in ensuring the country’s education and training systems align with the needs of the workforce.
“The National TVET Policy outlines the government’s commitment to providing quality TVET opportunities to all students. It sets clear directions for the development of the TVET sector,” said DPS Darboe.
In order to effectively implement the Policy Masterplan, DPS Darboe underlined key steps to be taken. Firstly, he identified the need for an effective coordination mechanism between the government, industry and TVET institutions. Secondly, is a need to focus on the quality of TVET programmes to ensure the curriculum is up-to-date and relevant. Thirdly, Monitoring and evaluation should be wired into the operationalization plan in order to measure progress.
Yusupha Keita, Technical Advisor and Coordinator of the Job, Skills and Finance Programme at ITC, remarked that the Masterplan should be a strategic guide for the TVET ecosystem in The Gambia.
“I am happy we have reached this milestone. The document has been developed by the TVET Committee and now this is going to be the 3rd time we have done reviews with the MoHERST TVET Unit,” Mr Keita said.
For Theresa S. Diarra, Director of Operations at The Gambia Chamber of Commerce (GCCI), the Chamber is pleased with the level of progress registered and looks forward to the successful implementation of the Masterplan.
“We want young people to see TVET, not as a secondary option or last option, we want them to see TVET as a first option just as equal to going to the university,” Ms Diarra stated, adding that GCCI will continue to work with MoHERST and partners in ensuring there is a perception change.
In his presentation, the Director of Tertiary and Higher Education of MoHERST, Anthony G. Mendy gave an overview of the TVET Policy Operational Plan which was subject to debate and relevant inputs from members of the National TVET Committee Sub-groups. The Masterplan highlights the implementation strategies of the 9 pillars of the National TVET Policy. These pillars include;
Pillar 1: Reviewing the institutional and governance framework for better delivery of TVET;
Pillar 2: Expanding access to quality and relevant TVET for all;
Pillar 3: Improving the capacities of the TVET system to develop competitive, recognized and market-driven programs to cater for current and future skills need;
Pillar 4: Improving the quality and the relevance of apprenticeship and on-the-job training for a skilled manpower throughout the economic sectors;
Pillar 5: Harnessing the benefits of the digital era for building a quality and competitive workforce;
Pillar 6: Establishing a national TVET funding mechanism that is robust, sustainable and ensures affordability and accountability;
Pillar 7: Strengthening and integrating the data of the existing education and training management information systems (EMIS) to enhance decision-making in TVET;
Pillar 8: Ensuring effective and efficient integration of TVET graduates into the job market and finally,
Pillar 9: Improving the image of TVET.
On behalf of the Ministry, the Director of Tertiary and Higher Education thanked ITC for their support throughout the development of the TVET Policy Masterplan and members of the National TVET Committee who come from diverse TVET Sectors in the Country, for their dedication and commitment. The next steps will be to look for relevant funding for activities stipulated in the Masterplan.