By Hamid Khan Wazir
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: While emphasizing the need for Centres of Excellence (CoEs), the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood said that the completion of the Centre would pave way towards allowing the Pakistani Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to sustainably improve delivery of training and assessment, career counselling and job placement.
The CoEs will be state-of-the art facilities ready to offer training for TVET practitioners and vocational students alike.
Shafqat Mahmood along with the Ambassadors of the EU, Germany and Norway laid the foundation stone for the CoE in Islamabad on Monday.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the second out of five Centres of Excellence (CoEs) aimed at improving the quality of technical and vocational education and training in the country, which was held under the donor-funded TVET Sector Support Programme (TVET SSP).
The Centres of Excellence aim to promote excellence in the training delivery for youth and TVET practitioners, hence supporting the development of a skilled and competitive workforce and improved employment opportunities.
The CoE Islamabad is being established at the National Training Bureau.
The establishment of the CoEs is a very important part of the support being provided by TVET SSP, which is funded by the European Union and the governments of Germany and Norway. TVET SSP is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close collaboration with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs) and a number of public and private sector organizations at national and provincial levels.
Shafqat Mahmood further said that the groundbreaking ceremony testifies the importance the present government at the Federal level gives to the TVET sector.
The minister added that the involvement of the private sector in all steps of the value chain, from the design of training content to training delivery and assessment is key to ensure that the offered services are market-driven.
The CoEs will be places to both learn and implement TVET and to serve as a hub for communities of practice and private sector engagement. The close linkage to the private sector will ensure the relevance of the training for the economy. It will lead to skilled human resources that meet the needs of the labour market. This will ultimately result in an improved image of the TVET sector in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara stressed the importance of quality technical and vocational education and training to empower the youth of the country, which is only possible through a sustainable allocation of resources by both state and private sector.
“Teachers are one of the pillars of TVET and it is encouraging to see that the centres of excellence will also focus on enhancing their skills to ensure they can play their role more effectively. Furthermore, I am particularly please so see how the COE are going to play an important role in women’s empowerment by ensuring that at least 30 percent of the trained teachers and students are women. Equipping women with necessary skills to join the workforce not only empowers them, it is beneficial for the families, communities and all of Pakistan’s society and economy,” she remarked.
“It is matter of great satisfaction that NAVTTC being the apex body of the TVET sector is setting standards. This is evident through the groundbreaking ceremony. It speaks of the commitment from the relevant authorities, especially the Federal Government”, remarked Dr. Deichmann, the chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany to Pakistan.
The Ambassador of Norway to Pakistan, Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen highlighted the contribution of the Norwegian Government for the development of TVET sector of Pakistan.
“The engagement with private sector is a cornerstone in modern TVET delivery. These Centres of Excellence will bring together the expertise of the industry for a better and more modern TVET system for the youth and teachers”, he remarked.
The Acting Executive Director of NAVTTC Dr. Faheem Mohammad said that the TVET sector is being reformed in Pakistan for the provision of skills and jobs for the Pakistani youth.