EU Technical Assistance to VET and Employment Reforms in Georgia
BACKGROUND ON THE SITUATION IN THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND
Although there has been substantial progress in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector , the Ministry of Education and Science is still facing number of challenges:
• A need to address structural weaknesses, notably with respect to the internal management arrangements, the financing of the VET system, and the inter-relation between the VET system and the secondary schools and higher education systems;
• The status of vocational education and training remains low. This is reflected in the low social take-up rates of VET courses, the students’ preference being for University programmes. Similarly employers are not convinced of the relevance of the training provided in VET institutions towards their employment needs;
• A lack of synergy between VET programmes and current and future labour market needs;
• An out-dated qualifications system and curriculum. Although this problem is currently being addressed through the introduction of stricter quality controls, improved teacher training, and the piloting of a new modular approach to VET programmes, there is much that needs to be done, notably such as the establishment of a VET inspectorate / assessment;
• Limited linkages between the field of education and the field of work: the learning is largely classroom-based, with restricted access to work experience, and work-based learning opportunities;
A draft Strategy for the development of VET (2013-2020) has been prepared with EU support and accompanied by a detailed Action Plan (2013-2017). Both documents were formally approved in December 2013. The detailed planning of the VET Action Plan for 2018-2020 will follow based on a mid-term evaluation to be held in 2017. The overall objectives of the strategy are to promote greater synergy between the VET system and labour market needs, to ensure full employability of VET graduates in meaningful and, where appropriate, well remunerated and personally rewarding occupations. These objectives will be met by measures designed to: develop high-quality VET programmes reflective of current and future labour market needs; prepare cadres of VET educators possessing modern pedagogic skills; establish a system of nationally and internationally recognized awards and qualifications; create a flexible network of well-funded, well-equipped and well-managed public and private VET providers; raise the profile of vocational education and training as an attractive and rewarding pathway for personal and professional development; and to engage the social partners and civil society in the development of VET policy and in decision-making.
The MoES has evolved comprehensive institutional arrangements for the management and implementation of vocational education and training, and has acquired substantial experience in elaborating and monitoring VET policy, largely through its previous involvement in a Sector Policy Support Programme (2009-2012). Within the MoES, the VET Development Department is responsible for the definition, coordination and management of VET policy. The Department comprises three Divisions (Policy, Monitoring and Social Partnership). There are six agencies subordinate to the MoES, National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE), National Teacher Professional Development Centre (NTPDC), Educational and Scientific Infrastructure Development Agency (ESIDA), Education Management Information System (EMIS), Office of Resource Officers in Educational Institutions (OROEI), and National Assessment and Evaluation Centre (NAEC), which contribute to the overall design, management and implementation of VET policy.
Based on the outputs from EU technical assistance project (2012-2013) "Quality Enhancement and Capacity Building in VET", the NCEQE has been put in charge of piloting and mainstreaming modular TVET curriculum and revised system of TVET qualifications and QA mechanisms aiming to create market responsive TVET programmes that will be comparable to EU qualifications and promote mobility and recognition of qualifications.
The data on the numbers of authorised and accredited public and private VET providers, compiled by the National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement show that the private sector is undergoing a rapid expansion. There are presently 50 private community colleges 19 private VET Colleges. The number of public sector VET providers has diminished since 2009 as a result of reorganisation, mergers and privatisation. At present there are 21 public sector providers (a mixture of Vocational Colleges - 11, and Community Colleges - 9). Info Centres were established in 2011 to manage the process of registration and admission to public VET Colleges. There are approximately 14 280 registered VET students in the public and private institutions.
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and Employment Reforms in Georgia and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union
© 2015 EUVEGE
INTERNATIONALIZATION OF VET IN GEORGIA
By: Oliver Deasy 01.07.2016
Internationalization of VET is one of the priority action lines for the VET Reform Strategy of Georgia 2013-2020. Internationalization of VET implies adoption of policies, and mechanisms for creating an environment that is international in character －in teaching, in research and in outreach. It means exposing students, for example, to knowledge about and from different parts of the world, and it means preparing them to communicate and work with people from other cultures and countries (Paige, 2005). Knight (2003) distinguishes two types of internationalization: 1) ‘internationalization at home’ (Nilsson, 1999) which refers to the international and intercultural dimension of curricula, the teaching/learning process, research, extracurricular activities, in fact a host of activities which help students develop international understanding and intercultural skills without ever leaving the campus. 2) ‘internationalization abroad’ that is cross-border education (often referred to as transnational education) which involves students, teachers, scholars, programs, courses, curriculum, projects moving between countries and culture, in short, across borders (p. 3).
EU Georgia Association Agreement (2014) stipulates various activities supporting internationalization of education system in Georgia, namely: 1. Reinforcing international academic cooperation, participation in EU cooperation programmes, increasing student and teacher mobility; 2. Encouraging the learning of foreign languages; 3. promoting progress towards recognition of qualifications and competences and ensuring transparency in the area; 4. promoting cooperation in vocational education and training, taking into consideration the relevant EU good practices.
The Riga Conclusions (2015) in the frame of Copenhagen Process calls for enhanced internationalization in VET, specifically, by a) intensifying support to the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA); b) EU level support to ensure transparency and recognition tools (EQF, ECVET, EQAVET, Europass and validation of non-formal and informal learning); c)Support transnational mobility of VET learners and staff (Erasmus+, ESIF, EURES, Your first EURES job); d) Support Member States in targeted communication and visibility of the achievements of European cooperation in VET.
The EUVEGE project supports Internationalization of VET in Georgia through establishing the working group with the purpose to 1. Draft the situational analysis of VET internationalization in Georgia; 2. Elaborate the concept note in line with the recommendations of the analysis document; 3. Support accession of Georgia into international organizations dealing with VET and employment; 4. Support the Ministry of Education and science of Georgia in adopting the Europass documents and 5. Assist in elaboration of mobility programme for the VET teachers.
In close cooperation with another EU project “Strengthening the Development Potential of the EU Mobility Partnership in Georgia through Targeted Circular Migration and Diaspora Mobilization”, the case study on Internationalization of VET in Germany was elaborated by the international expert from Germany and relevant recommendations drafted for Georgia.
Internationalization of VET sector is crucial for Georgia as it supports international cooperation, quality and trust building towards qualifications issued in Georgia that is essential for increased employability and competiveness of local VET graduates internationally.
GOOD PRACTICES IN LABOUR MARKET AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The current EU Technical Assistance (EUVEGE) project supports Georgia’s Sector Reforms in the areas of Labour Market / Employment and Vocational Education and Training (VET). The Government of Georgia strives for an update and adjustment of these sector policies according to international and in particular according to European standards. It is important to be aware of the position regarding sector policies among other countries in the world - and since Georgia is envisaging an approach to the European Union, it is crucial to compare and influence current situation with the EU sector policy standards and developments. With this material the EUVEGE project aims to provide a contribution to this orientation process.
From a wide range of international, especially EU experiences and best practice examples we choose those, which have in our opinion a clear and direct relation to current and future sector policy developments in the areas of Labour Market / Employment and VET. In the following best practice examples we also included cases from Georgia. In spite there is an urgent need for concentrated efforts at present and in future, to update and upgrade the regarding sector policies’ structures, methods and instruments; we also can find already now and here in Georgia good and effective solutions, which should be taken into consideration. This also shows very clearly, that also under the given, often still not optimal conditions, it is possible to establish and operate effective sector policy structures.
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