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Skills and Vocational Development

31.1 Introduction

Technical Education and Vocational (TEV) training is basically about building the skills needed for the workplace in Pakistans future economy. It is also about marketable and economically relevant education for people. The nature of work and demands for skills is changing in Pakistan and employment opportunities are shifting across industries and occupations. The profile of the Pakistani work force in 2004 (Labour Force Survey, 2003-04) showed 43.1 percent engaged in agriculture, 13.8 percent in manufacturing and mining, and 43.1 in services (wholesale and retail trade 14.8 percent, community and social services 15.0 percent, construction 5.8 percent, transport 5.7 percent, and 1.9 percent others. Since 2000, there has been a shift of 5.3 percent employed labour force from agriculture sector to manufacturing /mining (2.2 percent) and services (3.1 percent). Unemployment figures for 2003-04 indicate that 59.2 percent of the unemployed are literate or semi-literate, with pre-matric group being the largest (29.5 percent). This points to a grave mismatch between education and skill demand and inadequate quality and infrastructure in schools across Pakistan. Technical training in Pakistan is imparted mainly by Public institutions , which have high unit costs, little responsiveness to market demands and changes, and non availability of qualified teachers due to low salaries and inadequate career progression. The process is still supply driven in the wrong directions, although some efforts have been made to involve the private sector in the system. The issue of skill and education levels of the workforce assumes greater urgency because of the changing content of international trade, in which share of high technology in manufactures and services is increasing, while those based on resources or low technology content are declining. The terms Technical Education and Vocational Training are sometimes used synonymously. However, as per present practice, the term Technical Education refers to post-secondary courses of study and practical training aimed at preparation of technicians to work as supervisory staff. The term Vocational Training refers to the lower level education and training for the preparation of skilled or semi skilled workers in various trades and it does not enhance their level with respect to general education.

Fig 1

The Skills Pyramid

Degree Diploma Diploma

Certificate Proficiency

Primary to Matric



Several issues continue to constrain the development of a large, technically competent , workforce in the country. It is generally felt that the existing Technical Vocational Training system has not been able to cater to the challenges posed by the new work environment, and is unable to meet the fast changing training requirements of our trade and industry. This has resulted in skills shortages and skills gaps. i) Low Productivity , Low skills: The traditional structure of our domestic economy has failed to produce competitiveness, enhanced quality, or increased productivity of the industries. With protections disappearing, only a trained, efficient, productive and innovative workforce can meet challenges of globalisation. It is necessary to emphasise low levels of training and skills in non -technical activities in the services sector, which employs 44 percent of the employed labour force. Already many businesses and government departments are trapped in the low skills regime in relation to office work, while wholesale and retail trade, hospitality, tourism, agriculture and horticulture services, also suffer greatly from lack of quality training. ii) Low Enrolments: Direct enrolment in technical and vocational education is 105,000, with another 115,000 engaged in tertiary level diploma and certificate programmes. In comparison, 326,000 are enrolled in BA/BSc/BCS programs while 250,000 are enrolled at the Masters level and higher levels (Source: Pakistan School Education Statistics, 2003-04; also: The State of Education in Pakistan, 2004, Ministry of Education). When the relatively low enrolment in TEVT is coupled with high dropout rates in schools, then it is clear that a major skills gap is developing which needs to be arrested. iii) Teachers Shortage: Even after curricula and training equipment has been upgraded, teacher shortage will remain the key obstacle to development of

TEVT . Currently 7042 teachers (19 percent women) work in 624 TEVT Institutions with an enrolment of 105,000, of whom 13 percent are women. iv) Globalization and New Emerging Environments: The training system set up in the sixties and seventies needs a major transformation to cater for demands for new skills and higher education levels of the workforce. Diversification requires innovation, and flexibility on the shop floor or the business premises. Overlapping and Duplication of Training Programmes: Technical and vocational training is being administered by various departments and organizations. There is no uniformity and integration in the training programme with regards to duration, curriculum and standards. The result is not only poor quality of training but under utilization of training facilities and wastage of resources. To maintain uniformity and standardization of all the training programmes for achieving required quality standards, it is necessary that all training programmes presently being offered by different departments/ organizations must be brought under one organization. Changing Requirements for Overseas Employment: The earlier boom in the Gulf, based upon construction, has now been overtaken by demand for a better educated and skilled labour force. Some categories of workers have remained in demand and will continue to do so in future as well, but it is the highly skilled technicians, or professional such as engineers and medical doctors, whose demand is growing, as well as workers with experience or expertise in more than one trade.



vii) Data and Statistics: Absence of a credible and legitimate database on education or an incomplete database makes it difficult to monitor outcomes or respond to indifferent outcomes. 31.3 Existing Technical and Vocational Training System

At present technical education and vocational training programmes are administered by a number of federal, provincial and private agencies . Thus Government Vocational Institutes ( GVIs) are administered by the Provincial Education Department; Technical Training Centres (TTCs), Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), and Apprenticeship Training Centres( ATCs) are administered by the Provincial Labour Departments; Apprenticeship Training under the Apprenticeship Training Ordinance, is administered by the provincial Directorates of Manpower and Training in establishments employing 50 or more workers. Finally, on-the-job training within industries and training is also imparted by the Small Industries Departments/ Corporations and private technical and vocational institution. Recently, a Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) has been establishment in the Punjab and all the departments dealing with technical and vocational training have been placed under it. Similar programmes have also been started in NWFP with suitable modifications. At the federal level, National Training Board is working under the Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis. It coordinates the working of the provincial boards, assesses existing and future training needs, and develops training syllabi and specify national training standards and trade tests.

The Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis has established five Skill Development Councils (SDCs) one each at Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. The SDCs assess the training needs of their geographical areas, prioritize them on the basis of market demand and facilitate training of workers through training provision in the public and private sectors. In addition to the technical and vocational training being imparted by the Technical/ Vocational training centres, under the Provincial Directorates of Manpower and Training and the National Training Bureau under the Ministry of Labour, the Federal Ministry of Education through its Directorates of Technical Education is running colleges of technologies, polytechnics, mono-technics and commerce colleges offering vocational and commercial training. The Ministry of Science and Technology, through the National Institute of Science and Technical Education (NISTE), also imparts science and technical education including training of teachers, curriculum development, research and development and coordination of science and technical education activities at national and international levels. Many higher secondary students improve their qualifications for diplomas and certificates by enrolling in private and government degree awarding institutes in selected activities such as IT, Network Administration, Graphics and Fashion Design, or Accountancy. A look at comparative functions of the above mentioned agencies reveals that there is a strong need for an agency at federal level which should be solely responsible for promotion, up-gradation and standardization of technical education and vocational training to meet the changing needs of the economy. Similar agencies are proposed to be set up at the provincial level. 13.4 Objectives and Targets for the MTDF 2005-2010

It is proposed to develop a Vocational Training System which can be flexible enough to respond to changing demands for competent and trained workforce for the economy According to the Pakistan School Statistics, 2004, the total enrolment in the age group 15 16 ( secondary education , educational years 9 10) was estimated at 3.4 million in 200405, or 44 percent of the cohort. If MTDF targets for enrolment in 2009-10, are met, the enrolment at various tiers would be as shown in Table 1. Table 1 School Enrolments (percent), Present and Projected Level, (age group, school year) 2004 -05 2009 -10
Middle, Secondary (age 11-13, class VI - VIII) (age 14 15, class IX X) 63 44 95 77

These literacy targets themselves require a massive investment in infrastructure and teachers, some details of which may be seen in the Chapter on School and College Education.

The present enrolment in TEVT institutions is 105,000 which corresponds to only 1.4 percent of numbers in age group 14-15, with another 115,000 engaged in tertiary level diploma and certificate programmes, compared with over 326,000 enrolled in programmes for Bachelors and above ( source : the State of Education in Pakistan, 2004, Ministry of Education). Allowing for new entrants in the labour market, it is planned to affect a major increase in annual intake for skills and technical education to 0.4 million persons by 2010. Of this 0.33 million are planned as annual intake in public institutions, while the remainder are expected to be part of private sector involvement. The introduction of the Skills and Technology stream in 2000 high schools (equally divided among boys and girls) will allow 0.24 million children of age group 14 15 to enter the programme each year, aiming a reasonable degree of proficiency in 2009-10, requiring a further 6 months for proper accreditation after high school. New Polytechnics, Technical and Vocational Institutes will be established, with the ultimate target of at least two in every district (of which one will be for women) by the end of the MTDF period. Every effort will be made to enhance the ability of Provincial and District Governments to not only multiply enrolment, but also hire many more teachers and develop their capacity for delivering. This programme is vital if we wish to achieve a paradigm shift in our economic and social orientation. The cost of such an activity is extremely high ( Rs 107 billion) over the next five years, and it is planned to spend a total of Rs 33.78 billion over the period 2005-10 through the appropriate agencies. 31.5. Constraints

The present capacity of the Government Departments and Agencies is insufficient to perform this task, keeping in view the past record, even if the required funds are made available to them, unless a shift in strategy takes place. The first constraint is financial, because it affects the quality of education and handson skill imparted to the trainees. Technical training is an expensive business as compared to general education. When training material, curricula and training equipment are available, teacher numbers and quality become the bottleneck. Collaboration with private sector remains a major option for Government, if the nature of the relationship with business and industry is properly tuned; otherwise there is danger of alternating between bureaucratindustry relationships which are either too stand-offish or could lead to conflicts of interest. Within the right relationship, Government may financially support the private sector for establishment and operation of Vocational Education and Training Institutions.; however, standards and quality benchmarks will need to be regulated irrespective of who runs the institutions. 31.6. Strategy for MTDF 2005-2010

There is increasing evidence that the country is beginning to experience skills gap and skills shortages. Earlier, all Pakistani schools had a technical stream which had been allowed to lapse, but which did prepare most secondary school students in practical marketable trades. Presently many of students drop out from schools, or even when they continue they fail to acquire marketable skills. There is, therefore, a pressing need to not

only increase enrolments, but to increase retention and make education economically relevant. Public private partnerships provide a most suitable framework to achieve the desired goals. The key features of the strategy are: i. ii. Establish new institutes to increase enrolment opportunities. Assign and monitor minimum standards of curricula, training, trade testing and certification as per international standards Demand based , multi skill and flexible training to meet changing needs of local industry, self employment, and overseas employment Introduce a skills and technology stream in 2000 secondary schools during MTDF 2005-10 Provide alternative pathways for dropouts to rejoin the technical stream or for school leavers to move horizontally into standard education streams Improve the quality of instructional and management staff through training and industry linkages Give high priority to women training institutions Enable private sector role for establishment of training centres through public-private partnership Enable micro credit facilities for successful trainees





vii. viii.

ix. 31.7

Proposed institutional framework

Apart from institutional reforms and re-structuring to make the management of the programs more effective and responsive to actual needs, it is also necessary to provide a framework for school dropouts to continue with education, so that it is economically useful, is recognised, and provides alternative pathways for them to re-join the mainstream and continue with skill development. National Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (NTEVTA) It is necessary to re-structure and consolidate the various organisations which currently manage the different programmes with varying degrees of proficiency and success. A national body, National Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority would undertake training needs assessments, forecast technical changes and demands, and plan alternative pathways for those who drop out or could not finish normal school. National planning, curriculum development, standardization of technical education, training of trainers, national accreditation of private polytechnics and institutes and develop strong linkages with the industrial end users will also be undertaken in conjunction with the provincial counterpart TEVTAs.

Provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (PTEVTA) A fully autonomous body is proposed to be set up in each province headed by professional technologists and engineers, with representation of major stakeholders from industry, government and academia. Its main task will be to ensure quality of training and standards set by NTEVTA in these chartered institutions. 31.8 Skills and Technology Stream in School

As part of the MTDF strategy to invigorate technical and vocational education, it is planned to introduce Skills and Technology stream in last two years of high school, where students can gain reasonable proficiency in trades and skills in demand, from over 34 emerging technologies and disciplines available at the moment. This will encourage many pupils to then move up to approved centres, where their proficiency can be further developed in a short time (6-9 months) to meet acceptable quality standards and proficiency. Students will have to take the prescribed general course programs. The vocational programs will provide credit towards a nationally recognised Certificate and will reflect competency standards specific to a specific industry or business or service. It is proposed to introduce key features of the Australian VET model ( nearly half the Australian high school students are enrolled in the programme), whereby students can follow two main streams; first, through course or subject programs all done in the classroom or the school workshop, and second, through school-based apprenticeships, both of which are validated for skill levels and certification within a national accreditation programme. The content of studies and training in the two sub-streams will be designed to broaden the range of choices and to provide alternative pathways to tertiary education and work. Initially, the programme is planned to be launched among 2000 of the existing 9,000 public high schools in the country (equally divided between boys and girls), which will allow reaching nearly 0.5 million enrolment by 2010. This strategy will have major benefits in reducing the costs of creating completely new institutes and spreading basic economically marketable skills more widely in society. It will also reduce dropout rates and increase the probability of retention, if students know that they can learn skills while still at school. Finally this measure will help create employment in less advantaged sections of society. Very often, vocational education is confused with technical education only. The nature of the modern knowledge economy requires a whole host of other skills such as hospitality, retail and sales, tourism, graphics and designing, agriculture and horticulture services, managing livestock, ICT , multi-media, inventory/stock control, and implementing QA systems among others, which need to be offered as part of the new stream. 13.9 Alternative Pathways

There is need to introduce alternate pathways for re-joining the stream either of technical education or the standard educational stream. This is part of a lifelong learning process and satisfies the desire for improving ones skills in order to move up the career ladder. The school technical stream will have a sub-stream for extensive apprenticeship with approved industry and businesses. The accreditation of this learning activity will require at least a reasonable number of contact hours (say 200 / year) inside the classroom, so that formal learning and testing is part of the accreditation which award points on a scale of

proficiency and competence to the young men and women. These points can be later adjusted in a later entry into the formal technical and vocational educational stream. The reentry may allow a longer period of, say 5 years, for completing the full requirements. Alternative pathways will be explored during MTDF and mechanisms introduced to allow dropouts from school to re-join the stream in school or after apprenticeship. This flexible time system of vocational education is necessary to collect dropouts, and to enable people to change skills or look for further development of skills in later life. It can also help bring Madrassa education within the mainstream, because it can be undertaken during later parts of the day, and can be spread over longer periods. This already happens in the country when people appear for higher examinations either through the Open University or prepare through evening studies. It needs to be extended to vocational and technical education. 31.10 Teachers Shortage

The issue of numbers and quality of teachers will be the major constraint in implementing the programme. Use of industrial linkages for inviting industry professionals may be part solution. While it is planned to train 3000 (out of the present 7000) teachers during MTDF, it still does not facilitate attracting good teachers and retaining them. Pakistan faces serious shortage of teachers in all tiers and streams of education. The issue of higher salaries to attract higher quality teachers and retain present numbers will be addressed in the MTDF. It may be useful to explore international linkages for assignments of teachers from friendly countries. 31.11 Establishment of New Institutes

In additional to the introduction of the vocational and technical stream in 2000 high schools, it is planned to establish 381 new Institutes (Polytechnics, Commercial Training Institutes for Women, Technical and Vocational Educational Institutes) which will raise the present enrolment capacity to 0.7 million by 2010. It is expected that the private sector will provide the investment to reach another 250,000 young men and women for skill development. The total amount planned under PSDP is Rs 33.78 billion for the programme (Annex I) 31.12 Conclusion

Technical and vocational education is a major input for ensuring the success of MTDF 2005-10 whose basic thrust is technology based growth with just development and employment generation. Skills and training are therefore accorded high priority during the next five years. While 650 existing institutes will be improved, and new skills will be introduced in 800 institutions at Tehsil level, it is also planned to establish 381 new institutes for technical and vocational education and training in the country, some of them exclusively for women. Training will be provided to 3000 teachers working in vocational and technical institutes, and 200,000 technical textbooks will be distributed free of cost. Technical Stream in two thousand secondary schools with three technologies in each is planned. It is also planned to increase enrolment at polytechnics to 20 percent of school leavers with in 5 years. To meet the skill needs of the economy and overseas, an amount of Rs. 28.18 billion on technical education and Rs.5.6 billion on skill development is planned to spend through appropriate agencies by 2010. Through this amount, it is envisaged to

provide enrolment to nearly technical education and vocation training to nearly 700,000 persons. An amount of Rs. 0.6 billion is allocated for the year 2005-06 for vocational training/skill development under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The structure of management of technical and vocational education in the country is under intense scrutiny at present, and several options are available. One common thread in all the options is the involvement of important stakeholders in the programme. The private sector is therefore expected to play its part in partnership with the state in providing quality skills and training. Diversification into new emerging areas of technology and services will be a constant factor in the programme. Finally, it is important to determines the efficacy of various inputs in the form of outcomes and not just numbers of physical quantities.

Annex I

Allocation For Technical and Vocational Education 2005-10

Rs. Billion Item Technical stream in secondary schools Salary of Teachers and workshop attendants Polytechnic institutes Free Technical Text books to students Improvements of existing institutions Training of teachers Skills training centers at tehsil level Civil works & furniture etc for districts and agencies Commercial Training Institutes Technical and Vocational Training Institutes Vocational Education Institutes Total 60 200,000 650 3,000 800 120 114 105 110 Quantity 2,000 Cost 4.800 7.300 7.75 0.400 0.650 0.180 3.200 1.200 2.475 3.510 2.315 33.78

Note: The total of Rs 33.78 billion includes Rs 28.18 billion allocated as per Chapter on Schools and College Education.