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7th of June 2023

Technical education in Nepal: Demand on one side, education on the other

Kathmandu. Nowadays several organizations in Nepal are conducting short-term and long-term training for the production of technical manpower. Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTTVT) is conducting training for 18 months to three years.

The training that CTEVT provides includes various technical fields including 160 to 560 hours of training related to construction, hospitality, agriculture, automobile, and other sectors. Even though an institution capable of providing such training has been set up, human resources have not been consumed as per the demand.

There is a huge gap between the youths who have skills and those who don’t. Why did this ‘gap’ happen? It always becomes a topic of debate. But the situation is the same.

The training providers claim that there is no room for cheating in the quality of the training provided. But in the labor market, there are complaints that people are not getting the human resources they are looking for.

A total of 65 to 70 percent of the trained manpower should get jobs according to their skills. But the trained human resources have not been able to find jobs according to their skills. This has raised a natural question – have we been given the training required by the labor market?

Skills training and the labor market should be harmonized. It is not appropriate to provide training on something that the labor market doesn’t demand.

There are several other difficulties regarding the revision of the curriculum. It is complex to revise the curriculum of technical vocational education. This is because the curriculum is prepared by CTEVT under the Government of Nepal and the administrative procedures are challenging for timely revision.

After providing training to the examinees, they should come up at the national level through skill tests. In our case, we are quite delayed at this also. Especially there is a large gap between the market and production. Our institutions must be flexible to address this problem.

While criticizing that we have not been able to supply human resources as demanded by the market, we should also keep in mind what kind of work we have done to achieve that and what, ‘input’ we have given.

Currently, efforts are being made to provide access to technical education in villages. This is a good job in a way.

The input we give helps in maintaining the quality of any work. Therefore, the curriculum we create is an input in itself. Therefore, we should analyze if the curriculam are appropriate per the need of the local market. We also should evaluate the capacity of teacher trainers.

Currently, largely graduates are providing training. The knowledge of technical education training is relatively less among the personnel who are providing training. This is because they come from a background with more theoretical education and less practical education. Therefore, to improve the quality, it is important to bring quality not only to the organization that provides training but also to the trainers.

Nowadays CTEVT is more flexible compared to the past. For example, the private sector cannot always provide employment. But the private sector and the relevant local government know how to create new entrepreneurs.

Likewise, the political parties also know about the actual demand. Once that demand is well-known, it can be coordinated with the relevant training center in that area since they work as a facilitator. If the training center works together with the agencies that know the demand, then our society will get skills and employment will increase.

Currently, we are evaluating the private sector if they can be a part of us. We have named it ‘Employment Engagement Coordination Committee. That committee asks the private sector to coordinate and the coordination includes from the selection of students to support employment.

It has come out to be an effective model. Students are very encouraged because of this. Even during the training, the private sector itself came to inform them about their needs, therefore learners are excited.

Working in this modality is effective as one gets to know the actual situation of the training center as well as receive suggestions on how to improve it. On one hand, it plays a role in improving training, and on the other hand, it also addresses the ‘gap’ between the private sector and the workers.

The people in the government should be clear about this model that the private sector should be pushed forward and emphasis should be placed on the production of human resources according to the demand of the market. This model has also helped those who want to be self-employed.

To promote skill development and improve the current situation, the training center should identify the need for human resources in certain categories. They should be trained only if there is real demand. Even if there is a demand, you should be sure in advance about where the trained human resources will go.

Training should be conducted only after completing these basics. On the other hand, trainings also should include the degree to which trained human resources will be able to operate or use the physical infrastructure once they to the labor market.

The flexibility of CTEVT is a must to make the curriculum dynamic. When we conduct skill tests for short-term training, we should swiftly revise according to its standard requirements. Because it takes time to be skillful.

Along with the new technology, the curriculum should also be updated and the teachers should be prepared accordingly. It will help to prepare quality human resources and they get good jobs when they go to the labor market.

(An edited part of the opinion given by Akim Shrestha, the former Executive Director of Technical Training Institute in Nepalwatch’s presentation Policy Dialogue-2022. This program is broadcast on Nepal Television every Wednesday at 8:40 pm. You can watch the video of the program by visiting Nepalwatch’s YouTube channel.)


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