The Role of ODL in Improving Skills Acquisition in the Informal Sector in Zambia
The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) piloted Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessments on worksites or project sites. The purpose of this programme was to equip the informal sector personnel with nationally recognised qualifications. The various skills that such personnel acquire through these worksites are usually unrecognised and uncertified, which limits their participation in various national projects. It was recognised that even though the informal sector mentorship programmes equip the workforce with technical competence and vast experience, there is usually partial compliance to Occupational, Health, Safety and Environment (OHSE) standards in the workshops and worksites. In addition, there is limited value addition by the informal sector of various goods and services. This paper seeks to explore strategies on how to enhance knowledge, skills and attitudes of the informal sector. The specific objectives of this paper are as follows: To identify the causes of low skills acquisition in the informal sector; To describe the effect of skill certification in the informal sector; and To review how open and distance learning (ODL) can be used to improve skills among informal sector workers. This paper seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge on how skills and competences that are acquired from informal worksites can be formally recognised to empower the informal sector with skills upgrading to enable them to participate effectively in national projects. The 9th Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF9) provides an appropriate platform to share empirical findings of this paper and benefit from the network of experts and practitioners in various fields of ODL and TEVET. // Paper ID 244
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