Links and Synergies between Formal and Non-Formal Vocational Education in Developing Countries

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1 Links and Synergies between Formal and Non-Formal Vocational Education in Developing Countries Carlos Felipe Revollo Fernández, Ph.D. Vientiane, Laos - March, 2010

2 Question Reflecting on non-formal education is by definition reflecting on formal education as well. Manuela du Bois-Reymond* *DIRECTORATE OF YOUTH AND SPORT (2001): Aims and Objectives of the Study on the Links between Formal and Non-Formal Education (on behalf of the CDEJ). Contract No. 105, p.9.

3 Index I. Introduction II. Concepts and Definitions III. Characteristics of NFVE IV. Links between FVE and NFVE V. Conclusion and Recommendations

4 I. Introduction

5 Lack of job opportunities force millions of people to emigrate from the rural areas to the big cities in search of better chances to participate in the regional/global economy and of a better quality of life. People diversify their work activities and find alternative education chances in new urban centres with the aim of being more productive and competitive to the new socio-economic needs and realities. NFVE has emerged as an appealing, practical and low-cost method of overcoming inherited skills deficits, empowering people and alleviating poverty.

6 NFVE FVE Although NFVE is very often seen as a series of activities, spaces and processes which take place outside the established formal system, this presentation will stress that the non-formal and formal sectors of vocational education do not exist separately. The links and synergies between the two sectors need to be explored, conceptualized and enhanced in order to spread their mutual and democratic benefits in human society.

7 II. Concepts and Definitions

8 The UNESCO understands NFVE as any organized and sustained educational activity outside the established formal system that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives The concept is to cater for the learning needs of the vulnerable, marginalized groups and those unreached by formal education systems. * *

9 FVE is generally understood as a real or official kind of education that can only take place in a formal learning setting and be delivered through government provision or assistance. It has clearly defined curricula and rules for certification. NFVE tends to be associated with a narrower or less sophisticated type of education which is perceived as low priority sub-sector and as opposed to the FVE system. Its definition may vary from country to country, but its contribution is critical as a method of overcoming inherited skills deficits in many developing countries.

10 III. Characteristics of NFVE

11 Non Formal Vocational Education NFVE normally takes place outside the formal education system. Its courses and programmes vary in length from a few days to years, do not usually lead to formal qualifications, are costeffective and offered to adults. Although every day many thousands participate in NFVE programmes around the globe, they can only cater for a small proportion of the potential demand, which is much greater than existing capacity.

12 Many courses and programmes have a focus on early school leavers and certain disadvantaged groups: Indigenous people Disabled people Women

13 Providers: NGOs, churches and individual entrepreneurs. Recent trend: linking NFVE programmes with micro-financing programmes. NFVE has a strong focus on the development of incomegenerating activities, job creation, and empowerment. Therefore it can contribute effectively to poverty alleviation, enabling people to have secure, sustainable livelihoods. NFVE contents usually meet the specific needs of local communities and are typically oriented to practical, technical and life-skills (literacy, primary health care, reproductive issues, environmental issues, agriculture, fishing, etc.).

14 NFVE contents are community based delivered and are more flexible than those of FVE responding quickly to changing social and market-driven educational needs. NFVE teaching methods tend to be participatory and learnercentred, rather than teacher-centred. NFVE may follow traditional/indigenous and holistic learning styles. Although the diversity of courses and programmes offered through NFVE initiatives reflects the dynamism and wide range of opportunities in the field, the lack of co-ordination, possibility of fragmentation and lack of common standards can make regulation difficult.

15 IV. Links between FVE and NFVE

16 Although FVE and NFVE can be studied and mapped as two different systems of education it is important to question: a) How meaningful this distinction between both systems really is? b) Should we continue seeing both systems as opposed and independent entities or should we better try to identify and understand their common links and interdependencies? FVE and NFVE complement each other in everyday life and can actively assist each other in many ways. The overall goal is the same teaching and learning to improve the lives of individuals and to contribute to the development of communities and nations. There is considerable synergy mutual benefits between formal and non-formal education.

17 Interdependencies There are many ways in which the two systems interact and work together, such as: a) Sharing of infrastructure (buildings), facilities and tools b) Sharing staff and promoting educators mobility c) Exchanging knowledge and educational experiences d) Bringing praxis and theory together e) Reaching wider audiences f) Linking people from different backgrounds and educational paths g) Empowering individuals and communities h) Promoting transformative action, job creation, poverty alleviation and democratic practices

18 V. Conclusion and Recommendations

19 Some thoughts... NFVE addresses the shortfall of FVE opportunities as it has the potential to teach skills to people from vulnerable groups and promote job generation. It helps to improve the quality of people s lives by enhancing their economic and social well-being. It therefore makes a direct contribution to the alleviation of poverty and sustainable development. Although NFVE has less certification power and is often negatively regarded as second best, it is necessary to underline its strategic importance diffusing knowledge as a public good, reaching wider audiences, responding quickly to changing market needs and empowering individuals and communities.

20 Partnership & cooperation Although a series of NGOs and churches are usually the main providers of NFVE in the developing south, national governments need to foster partnership to assist them in capacity-building in order to make NFVE more clearly focused, better coordinated and valued in society. Therefore the development of clear national policy on NFVE, training support for NFVE key personnel, active coordination of activities and effective evaluation/monitoring of their programmes will not only help to reduce duplication or possibility of fragmentation, but to enhance the quality and contribution of vocational programmes to socioeconomic development and mobility.

21 While it is true that millions in many developing countries diversify their work activities and constantly search for new education opportunities (NFVE) with the aim to participate and be included in society, a large paper wall still obstructs their entry into a our socioeconomic and bureaucratic legal system which simply is unfriendly to poor people, especially to those who do not have an accredited technical title or academic certificate. * BUREAUCRACY BUREAUCRACY * DE SOTO, Hernando (2008). Documentary: The Power of the Poor: Capitalism at the Crossroads. PBS Stations, Peru.

22 Recognising the existing links and interdependencies between NFVE and FVE is not only the first step to reduce apparent divisions or competitions between both education systems,... NFVE FVE... but acknowledge and promote their common goal, value and transformative action: teaching and learning to improve the lives of individuals and communities of all social sectors.

23 Links and Synergies between Formal and Non-Formal Vocational Education in Developing Countries Thank you for your attention!

24 Bibliography BJORNAVOLD, Jens (2000): Making Learning Visible: Identification, Assessment and Recognition of Non- Formal Learning in Europe. Thessaloniki. DE SOTO, Hernando (2008). Documentary: The Power of the Poor: Capitalism at the Crossroads. PBS Stations, Peru. DIRECTORATE OF YOUTH AND SPORT (2001): Aims and Objectives of the Study on the Links between Formal and Non-Formal Education. Contract No. 105 (on behalf of the CDEJ), p.9. DU BOIS REYMOND, Manuela (2003): Study on the Links between Formal and Non-Formal Education. Centre for Youth Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands, p.11. FORUM SECRETARIAT, FORUM EDUCATION MINISTERS FIRST MEETING (2001). Paper: Basic Education in the Pacific: Framework and Strategy, New Zealand. ILO, UNESCO (2002): Technical and Vocational Education and Training for the Twenty-First Century (UNESCO and ILO Recommendations). Paris. SEIDEL, Sabine; BRETSCHNEIDER, Markus; KIMMNING, Thomas; NESS, Harry; NOERES, Dorothee (2008): Status of Recognition of non-formal and informal learning in Germany. Published by The Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Referat EU Bildungsprogramme; internationale Zusammenarbeit in der Bildung. Bonn. UNESCO (2004): Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Sustainable Development (An Annotated Bibliography of Research and Related Literature, ). Bonn.

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