‘TVET for all’ would do away with scourge of unemployment in Nepal

Nov 22, 2017

Photo: Anand Gurung/SKILLS

Ensuring quality TVET for all would decrease unemployment in the country and over-dependence on remittance, say stakeholders from Biratnagar

Deputy Mayor of Biratnagar Municipality Indira Karki hassaid that no one living in rural municipalities and metropolitan cities in the country would from now on be deprived of the opportunity to get quality technical education and skill-oriented training, regardless of whether they be from poor backgrounds or belong to backward communities.

She was speaking at a workshop jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and UNDP Nepal’s Support to Knowledge and Lifelong Learning Skills (SKILLS) Programme to solicit feedback from elected representatives of local bodies, TVET providers, businessmen and industrial sector in Biratnagar on what kind of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy is required in the context of the new federal set-up in the country.

 “The state will take concrete steps to create an enabling atmosphere to ensure that all those who want to take up TVET are able to do so without any kind of hindrance as the country enters federalization,” she said, adding that such a move will also greatly resolve the scourge of unemployment and underemployment in the country and nip the increase in Nepalese people heading abroad for better opportunities to raise their living standards.

She further said that although the increase in the number of people from Nepal going for overseas employment has helped the economy of the country and raised many families from the level of acute poverty, there has also been consequent increase in the number of Nepalese migrant workers dying in foreign lands in appalling conditions.

“Therefore, the state must provide skill training to as many people in the country as possible, including people from marginalized communities, women, disabled, and try to retain them in the country with good employment prospects,” she said.

Also speaking at the programme, Chief District Officer of Morang Govinda Adhikari said that while on the one hand there is widespread unemployment in the country with our educational institutions churning out unemployed youths, on the other, there is severe shortage of skilled or even semi-skilled workforce required to carry out earthquake renovation and restoration works.

 “This lack of skilled and semi-skilled workforce in our country has hindered our ability to complete national pride projects and achieve our development goals,” Adhikari said.

Making a presentation at the programme, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Education Dr. Mukunda Mani Khanal said that 75.5 percent of the economically active population of Nepal don’t have any kind of technical or vocational skills, while 23 percent are semi-skilled and only a miniscule 1.5 percent skilled workers.

“As a result, 54 percent of the economically active population are under-employed and a staggering five percent are fully unemployed in the country. The shortage of skilled workforce in the country has resulted in dwindling contribution of the agriculture and industrial sector to the GDP of the country and double digit growth in the contribution of remittance to the same,” informed Dr. Khanal, adding that  this does not bode very well for the economy of the country as contribution from remittance cannot be sustained for very long time.  

Former secretary and TVET expert Janardan Nepal, National Planning Commission’s Phandindra Poudel, local politicians and businessmen also expressed their views on how to increase the quality of TVET in Nepal and ensure that it is inclusive and job-oriented. 

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