Poor quality in vocational and technical institutes
Despite all the support that the sector in Yemen has received from many donors over the last few decades, it has not been able to achieve its aims, according to experts in the field.
The Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training was established in 2001 with the aim of improving technical and vocational education, providing the labor market with well-trained workers, overhauling the education system and decreasing the unemployment rate. Every year this sector produces around 8,500 professional vocational graduates.
“The staff of these institutes need a serious plan to improve their performance,” said Abdul-Hakeem Hashem, director of the Department of Quality at the Ministry of Vocational Training and Technical Education. “The skills of the training staff in these institutes need to be improved.”
According to a report carried out by the British Council, the major barriers that the Yemeni technical and vocational training system face are not primarily the lack facilities and equipment, but rather the lack of appropriate policies and procedures, management and implementation structures, maintenance, operations and system support.
The report indicated that the benefits of additional assistance are unlikely to materialize if they not accompanied by improvements in education, and by enhancing the quality and relevance at all levels of planning, delivery and management of industry-led curricula.
The British Council has worked in close partnership with the Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training in Yemen since 2008, on enhancing the quality assurance and inspection of technical and vocational programs offered by the ministry.
The British Council has started a plan with the ministry to establish quality assurance and inspection systems to guarantee that students in Yemen have the necessary skills to compete productively for jobs.
“This system will make a positive change in the performance of teachers in these institutes and also improve the administrative staff,” said Hashem. “By implementing this system, the administrations of these institutes will help provide students and trainers with proper services.”
Hashem told the Yemen Times that the new quality system will keep the graduates and administration of the institutes in touch and provide graduates with job searching skills.
The ministry, in collaboration with the British Council, has recently conducted several quality training courses. Participants included principals, headmasters of technical and vocational institutes, deputies, and the staff of the standards department in the ministry.
The courses covered information, concepts and principles, as well as specific quality regulations for vocational education training.
Nawaf Shamsan, director of the British Council, told the Yemen Times that the work in quality assurance in technical institutes is now looking better than ever.
“We feel confident that the three lead institutes in Yemen are qualified enough to train nine other institutes,” he said. “If the ministry takes advantage of the program well, it is assured that the overall quality of the institutes and their outcomes will improve. We very much need this in Yemen.”
Abdul-Hafedh Noman, minister of vocational training and technical education, stressed the importance of improving curriculums and teachers of the vocational and technical institutes to obtain well-trained graduates that will meet the needs of the labor market.
“Implementing quality systems in these institutes is the cornerstone to guarantee the success of vocational and technical institutes,” he said.