Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Skills Development through Open and Distance Learning (ODL)
Reducing poverty is one of the fundamental aims of the internationally agreed-upon Millennium Developmental Goals. Developing countries strive to enhance their international competitiveness for the well-being of their people. One of the many strategies being actively promoted to achieve this goal is to provide training and retraining for many unskilled workers to enable them to move out of low-skill, poor wage situations and into higher-skilled and higher-wage opportunities. The access to knowledge and skills to all people regardless of gender, age, race or location is enormously important. Education and training must be all-inclusive and reflect the vastly diversified present economy and various fields of human-power needs. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is striving to meet this goal. ODL, as the modality for TVET, allows vast numbers of people, hitherto unreached, to take advantage of education and training opportunities. This is because the traditional systems of training individuals for technical and vocational careers often cannot meet the massive need. Thus, there is an immense value of using ODL methods to provide continuous, "just-in-time" training for workers in a range of fields such as farming, health, textile and others. Although ODL is a comprehensive term for the modality employed, it naturally leaves outside those programs of TVET offered in formal education and training institutions through conventional contact schooling practices, and while the thrust of ODL is on various conventional disciplines of liberal education, the growing diversity in various learner groups and advances in educational technology lead to acceptance that the benefits from TVET through ODL are far greater than from other types of courses. The discussion will attempt to illustrate imaginative ways in which quality and relevant skills can be delivered through distance education and how the TVET sector can actively participate in the skills development. // Paper ID: 181
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