2010-10-15 | News
Steps Modernising VET Sector

Today a Workshop for VET sector stakeholders aimed at the presentation and discussion of two important topics, namely “Armenian VET Sector: areas of good practice, but room for improvement” and “Main Findings on Introduction of e-learning for the VET System in Armenia” took place at the UN House.

The workshop was organized within the framework of “Vocational Education and Training (VET) System” Project with attraction of foreign expertise in the VET sector and in close cooperation with the RA Ministry of Education and Science (MOE&S), which is the principal government partner in charge of the VET policy development.

The workshop was chaired by Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, and attended by officials from relevant government agencies, VET schools, and other concerned donor organizations. On these terms alone the workshop could be called a success as it brought together more than 40 key social partners across the VET system.

Opening ceremony of the event was marked by the welcoming speech of Ms. Dafina Gercheva. The UN Resident Coordinator pointed out that UNDP in the last 4 years has been working hard on how to modernize the VET system in Armenia and has been trying to improve the quality of preliminary and middle level professional education to boost students’ interest towards enrollment into VET sector.

The floor was then given to the international experts hosted by the UNDP VET Project. A ppresentation entitled “Armenian VET Sector: areas of good practice, but room for improvement” was delivered by Dr. Anthony Tyrrel from Australia, who described VET system’s recent developments and pointed out the need for further improvement with concrete steps to be undertaken for implementation of the VET reforms. Dr. Tyrrel as a VET expert is engaged into 8-month assignment to build institutional and human capacities of the National Centre for VET Development, which is in charge of the VET policy formulation and implementation.

Workshop participants then were engaged with a very rich and diverse range of research results aimed at the needs assessment for introduction of e-learning in the VET sector. The major findings of the research work were presented by Ms. Thejaswini Unni, Learning Design Expert from Indian based SIFY E-learning Services company. Ms. Unni has vast experience in introducing e-learning in several geographies worldwide and in a number of diverse domains. In her presentation, she touched upon the concept of e-learning and its use in the VET sector, the e-learning readiness in Armenia, as observed in students, teachers, and principals of schools, and the opportunities and challenges this medium provides for VET. Included in the study were the technological requirements for introducing e-learning and high-level financial implications. The presentation also took participants through several case studies and live demonstrations of e-learning.

According to her it is the right time for Armenia and the VET sector to bring in technology-based learning, such as e-learning. “Through collaborative partnerships and focused planning and investments, the VET sector can be markedly improved and can be a change agent in shaping the economy”, -concluded Indian expert.

The final part of the meeting consisted of questions and answers. A final comment expressed by many was that it was particularly interesting for them to take part in the workshop, because that was about moving agenda of VET reforms ahead with introduction of modern and innovative solutions for professional education.