CURRENTLY, education is not only a social service, but a money-making service. Offering training is a way of earning income and empowering society.
Additionally, the economy demands certain skills, knowledge and competences from everybody in order for people to remain viable in their specialty.
The economy seems to close ‘doors’ for anyone without a skill to prove their specialty.
The economy is actually ‘thirsty’ for skilled persons who could increase productivity and improve the quality of goods and services. The demand for training is thus ever increasing. With high demand for training, chances of people venturing into skills training without capacity to offer quality and appropriate skills is highly probable.
Therefore regulating training to protect public interest and for quality assurance purposes is important. Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority’s (TEVETA) role in monitoring and regulating skills training thus becomes very appropriate and crucial in ensuring that those who venture into skills training have infrastructure, capacity to train (qualifications) and have an efficient management system of training undertakings so that appropriate human capital is developed for the labour market. It was established under the TEVET Act Number 13 of 1998 in consultation with industry and stakeholders to bring sanity in skills training.
How TEVET is regulated
Information Education and Communication (IEC) – In today’s world, everything is being driven by information. TEVETA uses information to share training standards required of those presenting themselves to offer training in technical, vocational or entrepreneurship.
Educating and informing the public about training standards create awareness on what learners and the public should expect from training providers and demand for quality if they do not receive it.
Furthermore, through information education and communication, the public is informed about available training opportunities, procedures for registering a training institution (college), accreditation, available training pathways and registered institutions in the sector. It is also valuable in getting feedback from different stakeholders in training.
Curriculum development – TEVET plays a key role in any country’s economic growth. Graduates from this sector are the valuable economic drivers as they provide practical skills relevant to the demands of the labour market.
A curriculum is a critical tool in developing desirable skilled human resources by the industry. To ensure that training programmes match industry required skills, TEVETA adopted and adapted a curriculum development and review system that is industry focused.
It is called systematic curriculum and instructional development which is premised on the training cycle that begins with outlining job tasks to be done by job holders and also guides curriculum development, production of learning materials as well as implementation and evaluation of syllabuses.
Quality Assurance-Quality skills is a hallmark of skills development as the labour market seeks minimal costs due to redundancies in production material usage, errors or time wastage. Training providers are expected to churn out skilled persons that give the industry a competitive edge against opponents.
TEVETA thus registers training institutions to ensure they meet training requirements. Institutions are registered to ensure that only those with capability to conduct quality training are doing so. This is a quality assurance measure in terms of standard of training, learning outcomes and compliance to legal requirements for offering training services in Zambia.
The registration process involves registering an institution, accrediting programmes, accreditation of trainers and accreditation of examination boards.
Assessment and qualification- The assessment and qualifications in TEVET determines employability of graduates. The assessment system ascertains learners’ skills to analyse, think critically and to make inferences as they face the dynamic world of work.
With the right assessment procedures and regulations in place; students, parents, training providers and the community at large can be confident in the quality of training and in return the employers can have confidence in the graduates. TEVETA coordinates assessments in the sector to ascertain acquisition of appropriate skills by learners.
Assessments are structured ways for gathering evidence of an individual’s ability to perform a task to expected standard. They confirm that performance has reached the level defined in the standard, provide direction and motivation, provide diagnostic feedback and assist in evaluating the effectiveness of training.
Government’s interest in regulating TEVET is to set standards in training, protect citizens against training fraud and ensuring quality skills. Through TEVETA, those entrusted to train the country’s human resource are evaluated and certified to carry-out the mandate. Regulating TEVET prevents skills dumping from abroad and locally.
Thus, foreign examining boards administering examinations in Zambia are accredited by TEVETA. Accreditation of foreign examination boards ensures that set standards are met before getting the right to administer examinations in the TEVET.
Setting training standards also prevents substandard training, which could degrade the country’s social, economic and personal development. Substandard skills profile creates skill risks that could make Zambia uncompetitive as an investment destination, lower productivity or increase skills mismatch between training and industry.
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