Photo: Anand Gurung/SKILLS

The Mayor of Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City Lal Kishor Sah has said that the new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy to be formed following nationwide policy consultations needs to be "immensely practical and systematic" in order to ensure effective management of TVET schools, institutions and polytechnics across the country.

“The TVET policy should encourage operation of only those programs at the local level that help produce skilled workforce required by that particular locality or province,” he said.

Mayor Sah was speaking at a Consultative Meeting on TVET Policy organized by the High-level TVET Taskforce of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) with the facilitation of UNDP Nepal's Support to Knowledge and Lifelong Learning Skills (SKILLS) Programme in Janakpur, Province 2, on August 13. He further said that the private sector needs to be taken into confidence while formulating a provincial-level TVET policy that will be guided by the national TVET policy framework.

Likewise, Manoj Kumar Sah, ward chairperson of Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City, stressed on the need to extend the reach of quality TVET to rural areas in order to open the door for economic prosperity. "But for this to happen, the provincial government must first build the necessary educational infrastructure," he added.

Also speaking at the programme, Sunita Gupta, nursing officer at the Ministry of Social Development of Province 2, expressed her dissatisfaction over the recent tendency among employers to exploit their technically skilled workforce.

"Nursing colleges and institutions produce a large number of nurses that exceed the actual demand of the local market, forcing nurses into jobs with meager salaries," she said. Another reason for this, she said, was because agencies responsible for awarding affiliation to nursing colleges have not been vigilant enough in checking whether these institutions have the required infrastructure.

Education journalists present at the meeting were of the view that the skill development programmes organized in Janakpur should also incorporate traditional skills, and be monitored and evaluated so as to ensure quality and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Raj Kumar Chaudhary, a TVET teacher, said that it is necessary for the government to open at least one technical school/institution in every local unit across Nepal. "This would help to counter the urban-centric and increasingly expensive TVET programmes in the country," he said.

Other participants of the meeting suggested that the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training should focus on opening technical schools/institutions and investing in infrastructure in specifically those areas of Province 2 that rank very low in the Human Development Index and where outmigration is high.

The programme also saw the participation of Deputy Mayor Rita Jha, including education officials as well as ward chairpersons, private training providers and TVET experts, among others.        

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