Liberia: Stakeholders Revise TVET Policy

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MONROVIA – Key stakeholders in the technical vocation education sector have reviewed the previous five-year policy and have revised it for the next five year, beginning from 2022 to 2027 in order to meet current day reality.

Revision and subsequently adoption of the new five years policy was done recently following a one-day working session held at the Boulevard Palace in Monrovia.    

During the one-day session, the stakeholders reviewed the 2015 TVET policy, which ran between September 2015 and December 2020, and from 1st – 10th June 2021.

With deeper review of the previous policy, stakeholders were able to identify the gaps in the content and implementation of the 2015 TVET policy and how these gaps could be filled by focusing on the current economic environment and labour market skills needs to further strengthen the TVET system in Liberia.

Both missions were commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the request of the Government of Liberia.

The aim was to improve the governance and regulatory framework of the TVET sector by creating an enabling environment for the acquisition of employable skills for the world of work by all categories of learners, including the youth, adults, the unemployed, and person with disability (PWD).

It also seeks to create a robust, yet flexible human capacity development system that is open to the changing needs of the labour market and produce a highly skilled workforce that gears to make Liberian industries, products, and services increasingly competitive in the local, regional, and global markets.

By this, it will increase income-earning capacities of the informal sector workers, especially of vulnerable groups through TVET, continuous a lifelong learning, and integration into the modern economy.

The one-day meeting was also attended by the Regional Advisor for Higher Education and ICT at UNESCO, Abuja Regional Office, Mr. Abdoulaye Salifou, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Dimitri Sanga, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for West Africa.

Mr. Salifou congratulated the Liberian government and the Inter-Ministerial Task Force (IMTF) on TVET for prioritizing education and TVET in the face of the many developmental challenges facing Liberia.

He recalled that in March 2014, within the framework of the Capacity Development (CapED) programme, the GoL, UNESCO, World Bank, EU and other development partners had a consultation and validated the National TVET policy 2015-2020.

He indicated that the drafting, development and validation of the national TVET operational plan for the period thus culminating in the validation of the TVET legislation in July 2016 is now awaiting enactment into law.

Mr. Abdoulaye Salifou noted that youth unemployment which includes underemployment and vulnerable employment is a major issue that could have serious consequences for social stability, national security and development for any country.

 Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Mrs. Audrain Smith-Forbes also lauded Liberia’s development partners for their continuous support towards the development of Liberia, especially in the area of TVET.

“I want to in a very special manner appreciate UNESCO for its continuous efforts to ensure that the governing, managing and the efficiency of the TVET systems in Liberia are met,” she lauded.

“Again, let me also thank the French Development Agency through the International Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD), Merci Corps, the European Union, the Swedish Government for the ‘Youth Rising Project’ implementation by UNIDO and other partners for the strategies and interventions aiming to revitalize the Liberia TVET system,” she asserted.

Deputy Minister Smith-Forbes, who spoke on behalf of D. Zeogar Wilson, who is currently out of the country with the Liberia National Olympic team, emphasized that the major weakness of Liberia’s TVET system has been the absence of a comprehensive legal framework and coordinating agency to guide, direct and oversee TVET for the country.

As a result of this, she pointed out that the TVET delivery system is fragmented amongst several government ministries and agencies with different governance and management practices.

“We are hopeful that the challenges of funding will not be encountered during the implementation of the Revised TVET Policy (2022-2027) and the policy will solve the problems,” Deputy Minister Smith-Forbes added.

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