automobile industry, Career Guidance Centres, carpentry, Construction Skills Council, elder care, English and Career Skills Training, Food and Beverage Service, Hotel School, Introduction to Care and Counselling, Introduction to Office Work course, Manufacturing and Light Engineering Council, parents, plumbing, Social Marketing and Career Guidance, Tertiary and Vocational Education and Training policy, welding
but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done
I got back from Armenia on May 2nd, and began a period of intense work for nearly three months. We finalized a new Tertiary and Vocational Education and Training policy, something that was long overdue; we revised the National Vocational Qualifications Operational Manual and introduced several new ideas, including a section on teacher development; and we launched the first book for English and Career Skills Training, and sent two more to press.
These I had known I would have to do, but in addition I started working closely with the Sector Skills Councils, and found three of them remarkably efficient. We had decided that we should streamline the manner in which curricula were formulated, and that, instead of having compendiums which included competencies at several levels, each level should have its own curriculum. It also seemed desirable to have short courses, of three months duration with On the Job Training on top of that, for the Level 3 qualification. The Councils took the idea on board, and by August the Construction Skills Council had formulated curricula for Plumbing and for Carpentry for Building. By the end of the year they had produced curricula also for Masonry (both for Foundation work and for Walls) while the Manufacturing and Light Engineering Council had produced one for Welding. At the end of the year we put together these five in a handbook, which was designed to show the range of possible occupations with regard to Construction.
The Manufacturing Council also produced curricula for Tractor and Harvestor Operators, but its deep thinking Chairman said they would hold back for a while on Production curricula, since they had no idea about career paths in the absence of a coherent industrial policy. I brought this matter up at the Committee set up by the Prime Minister to look into the field of Vocational Training, and it was agreed that something should be done about this. But I fear belling the cat (Ranil used to be called Poos by his family when he was young) was not something those who chaired or administered that Committee were able to do. Despite promises they also dodged telling the Prime Minister that it was desirable that the University Grants Commission and the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission should be represented on the Board of the National Institute of Education. In that area it was clear that reforms would be piecemeal, without the conceptual input that no one in authority at that Ministry seemed capable of (though thankfully a few months later it got a new Secretary who seemed comparatively capable).
The Computer Council very professionally staked out the whole field, and agreed that there should be one simple 3 month curriculum to introduce students to the field. That was produced soon enough, and by the end of the year they had produced also a Level 4 curriculum, having decided that there should not be specialization at that Level either. Continue reading