Narrowing the Skills Gap through VET
As the country’s principle provider of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) at secondary level, the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) has made tremendous strides in assisting many of these youth to complete their secondary education. Since its inception, 300,000 learners have enrolled at NAMCOL with current pass rates of between 82-92%. However, most of these courses offered by institutions are academic in nature and appear not to fully meet all of the country’s education, training and development needs as outlined in Vision 2030 and the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP):2006-2013. NAMCOL has identified VET as a critical part of their education policy agenda, yet in Namibia this issue has remained peripheral to the efforts to reform education and training systems. This paper presents available evidence on the extent and patterns of lifelong learning in VET and the introduction of new approaches. It argues that the introduction of Foundational skills, elementary VET programmes and new qualifications is important not only to meet the new skills demands but also to address a rapidly growing skills gap created by a slowly responding VET system.
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