Proposal to Develop TVET Sector in Sri Lanka

The quality of Training by and large would depend directly on the quality of:

  1. Curriculum
  2. Trainers/Teachers
  3. Equipment/workshops
  4. Assessment

It is apparent that the sector is weak in all 4 areas in varying degree and getting deteriorated in some areas. There is no consistent approach for continuous improvements in the areas mentioned above or no reliable monitoring system to get the true status of the sector. This brief proposal is envisioned to provide some solutions in the short term and medium term. 

  1. NCSs & Curriculum development needs strengthening and decentralizing to get the best developers among teaching staff withing the system and have them developed as international level experts. 
  2. Short Term solution: – A separate unit independent of training institutions, may be under the TVEC be established to get well trained and competent staff to address all NCSs & curricula related issues such as timely revisions and new developments.
  3. Trainer quality in general have two facets. 1. Pedagogical competency of trainers/teachers 2. Technical/subject related competency of trainers/teachers- 

Short Term solution: -1. All teachers/trainers should be given pedagogical and technical training and the TVET system should have master trainers in both pedagogy and technical areas. A well equipped training center with acceptable -level facilities need to be established with permanent staff arrangements (perhaps on rotating basis every 2 years) . Former TITP can be developed for this initially.( A proposal developed together with Arizona State University for TITP development has been forwarded to the ministry 2 years now.) 

2. Introduce comprehensive orientation programe of around 1 month for all new recruits in the following areas:

  1. Pedagogy
  2. Relevant technical competencies 
  3. Career Guidance 
  4. Entrepreneurship 
  5. Soft Skills
  6. ICT 
  7. CBT &CBA
  1. Upgrade all workshops with quality and adequate number of equipment required to deliver the curriculum
  2. A fair and accurate assessment is a right of the trainee and need of the employers as well. Assessment needs to be strengthened in all aspects enabling assessees to have a fair and accurate assessment and to get the certificates in hand at least within 2 weeks from the assessment.

Short Term solution: – A separate assessment unit directly under DG or DDG of TVEC may be established for smooth operation of all assessment related activities.

Long Term Developments 

Out of around 300,000 of students after A/L without university education, TVET sector attracts only 40,000-60,000(if this number is wrong, there should be sufficient number of certificates issued to corresponding number) annually which is leaving room for more 100,000 -150,000. As of now the amount spent per certificate is too high (there is no such analysis done regularly) amounting to more than Rs.200,000 per certificate (Baseline survey 2013). The long-term plan should be to increase student enrolment at least to 150,000 annually which is of prime importance for the industrialization of the country through expanding the formal sector(reducing informal sector) employment. Introduction of new and emerging areas of training in the high-tech fields such as Photo-voltaic technology and other Alternative Energy sector, Rubber technology, Automation. Robotics and Mechatronic applications including Agri-based industries etc. which is of much need for the countries industrial development. Even SMEs should be enabled to use Automation, Mechatronics and Robotics making the training freely available for all seekers. Finally, TVET sector should be developed to meet the countries industrialization requirements in all aspects in terms of Quality and Quantity of HR.

  1. Rationalize the training establishments to eliminate undue competition and optimize resource utilization. ( Centers with less than 5 courses may be closed down)
  2. A unit which is capable of forecasting   the man-power needs of the country may be established to plan and train the HR for the country.
  3. Monitor the true status of the training institutions through a well featured Quality Management System based on the objective evidence. 
  4. Establish Technical Teacher Training mechanism with highly competent Master Trainers in priority areas. (The best training workshop in the country can be converted with improved facilities as the MT training center for a given area). This approach would be cost effective than the centralized Teacher Training Institution which would be too complicated to set-up and manage.
  5. Introduce reward mechanism giving due recognition for the Master Trainers to encourage trainers to become MTs.
  6. Introduce/amend policies appropriately enabling the implementation of above activities. (Amendment of existing Acts where necessary, recruitment policy, Training center establishment policy, and 
  7. Policies to encourage industry participation in the TVET.

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