The 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report will focus on skills development, emphasizing strategies that increase employment opportunities for marginalized groups. This is an important opportunity to address a neglected issue on the Education for All agenda – and to fill a gap in the Global Monitoring Report’s coverage of the goals set at the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000. The Report will draw lessons from programmes that have succeeded in supporting the development of economically dynamic and socially inclusive societies.
The consultation is now closed. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed. The responses have been impressively diverse, substantial and interesting – and hard to summarize! Despite this, I have tried to pick out what I saw as some of the major recurring points that came up.
A number of major questions that the GMR needs to address were raised, including:
• Relevance and connection with labour markets – The GMR needs to consider how labour markets are changing and how skills development can connect with labour markets. Several respondents called for skills development to be more relevant to local conditions and labour markets, and to be ‘demand-driven’, while others stressed that it should also include life skills, basic literacy, and transferrable skills, taking into account that young people change jobs and migrate.
• Access, especially for people from poor households, girls and women, and disabled people.
• Cost-effectiveness and finance – skills development is often more expensive than secondary education. Making sure the costs don’t fall too heavily on the learners is a challenge. It could be made more cost-effective, for instance by making greater use of facilities, and there were suggestions of how to finance it, including pay-roll taxes.
• Changing mindsets where TVET is less valued as a career path
• Articulating TVET with other parts of the education system, as well as with employers
• Lack of adequate management information systems, evaluations and research
While several welcomed the focus on the marginalized and emphasized “second-chance” education or the need for skills development to extend to informal and agricultural work, others argued that skills training is more of an issue for those who already have basic education (who are less likely to be the most deprived groups) and for those who have the networks and resources to enable them to get jobs.