National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), NAVTTC and International Labor Organization (ILO) joined hands to explore a mitigating strategy for technical & vocational training during COVID-19.
NAVTTC, Pakistan’s apex body in Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET), is taking strategic steps to address the severe setback to the TVET sector of the country and devise a joint multidimensional plan to continue imparting technical and vocational training to country’s youth in COVID-19 pandemic situation.
In view of the evolving situation, NAVTTC in collaboration with the ILO arranged the first-ever International Dialogue on a mitigating strategy for TVET in the emerging COVID-19 scenario which was attended by 62 key technical experts from around the globe including European Union, South Africa, New Zealand, Colombo Plan Staff College, provincial TEVTAs, Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment, Pakistan Workers Federation etc.
While addressing the webinar session arranged at NAVTTC HQS, Country Director ILO Ms. Ingrid Christensen emphasized the need of redesigning and reshaping TVET sector to cope with the changing scenario. Mr. Gabriel Borddao, Skills Specialist, ILO gave a detailed presentation on how different countries are dealing with COVID-19 in TVET.
Chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hasan said,
Among other sectors, the Technical education and the vocational sector is also badly hit by the pandemic and we need to devise a clear strategy to efficiently and effectively minimize, mitigate and manage the adverse effects being faced by the skill sector of not only just Pakistan but the world.
The Chairman said, “It’s a blessing in disguise that our young generation is tech-savvy so we must take advantage of it and offer them with the best e-campus learning opportunities that would not only help them make the most of their free time but also help them grow professionally so that they are ready for the job market once the country moves towards normalization”.
The Executive Director NAVTTC, Dr. Nasir Khan, said,
We have to explore hidden opportunities in adversities and I believe this situation has presented us with opportunity to explore alternative solutions to the challenges that we are facing. It calls for all TVET experts from around the globe to come together and devise a collaborative International Post Covid-19 Response system.
“The closure of TVET institutes amidst the COVID-19 crisis demands the adoption of an electronic or web-based approach in distance learning mode, to empower the most vulnerable including youth and returning migrants and the COVID_19 crisis should be seen as an opportunity to innovate, reflect and build a cost-effective system capable of addressing both these immediate needs as well as the required longer-term reform”, Dr. Khan said.
“Delay in the acquisition of competencies are affecting the immediate and future careers of millions of youth and therefore an urgent response plan is needed to be integrated and implemented not only to respond effectively to the current crisis situation but also prepare ourselves for the post-COVID-19 emerging scenario”, he added.
Various strategies for preparing the TVET sector to effectively deal with the current COVID-19 situation and devise a workable plan for the post-COVID-19 emerging labor market demand were discussed in detail. It was agreed that NAVTTC will compile all the proposals and feedback of the stakeholders and will devise, in collaboration with ILO, a viable strategy that will be further shaped in another webinar to be organized as soon as possible.
The participants of the webinar appreciated the efforts of the Director-General NAVTTC, Muqeem-ul-Islam and his team and Mr. Saad Gilani of ILO for arranging this first-ever webinar for exploring an effective mitigating strategy to enable TVET sector to effectively respond to the challenges of the ensuing challenges posed by COVID-19