Integrating Vocational Education with Academic Education in Commonwealth Open School
Our world is changing, and so are attitudes to education... A growing shortage of skilled workers, combined with renewed interest in how to make education relevant to students who do not plan to continue on to university, has put the spotlight on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Increasing access to TVET would serve the dual purpose of helping to keep more students in the education system while training them to fill the current gaps in the skilled worker sector. The big challenge is how to integrate TVET with academic/general education without compromising current academic/general education options. This study looks at the need to increase access to TVET and also at options for integrating TVET with the more traditional academic curriculum. Five organisations — National Institute of Open Schooling (India), Bangladesh Open University, Institute for Adult Education (Tanzania), National Open School of Trinidad & Tobago and Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning — participated in a survey to assess the availability of TVET, and the potential for and challenges of integrating it with academic/general education. The study included questions about access, equity (including inclusivity, gender and marginalised populations), quality, cost and curriculum development, amongst other factors. The responses to the survey have been published here as submitted to give an authentic picture of the current approach and attitudes to integrating TVET with academic/general education in the countries that participated in the survey.
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