Welcome to Tigrai Online,      Daily News that matters

The Integration of Technical and Vocational Education (page 3)

Desta, Asayehgn, Ph.D.
Sarlo Distinguished Professor of Sustainable International Economic Development
Dominican University of California
March 02, 2012

Table 1:  The Integration of Education for Sustainable Development (SD) to TVET Programs in Four African Countries



Brundtland’s Definition of SD “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987).

UNESCO’s Definition of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): UNESCO’s vision of education is that it “seeks to balance human economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources (UNESCO, 2005). In short, according to UNESCO, sustainable education is the process of learning about how to make decisions about the long-term future of the economy, ecology, and equity of all communities and about the capacity building for future-oriented thinking.


TVET in Botswana

TVET in Kenya

TVET in Malawi

TVET for Tourism in Mauritius

Official Definition of Sustainable Development  






1.SD is inclusive of skills for survival and its importance is associated with economic growth and social advancement.

2. SD means ensuring today’s development without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their ownneeds.

4. SD is a purpose-driven activity.

5. SD is meant to equip people with the right skills and knowledge in order to live in a sustainable way, even during a time of unfavorable conditions.

1. Sustainable development concurs with the three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.

2. International Labour Organization (ILO)

defines three aspects of sustainable development: the social, the economic and the environmental. Social aspects  include respect for and acceptance of other cultures, taking into consideration distributional equity, adequate provision of social services including health and education, gender equity, establishing a suitable working  atmosphere and working within a group.

1.SD means ensuring today’s development without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their ownneeds.

2.Technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education and training (TEVET)is the country’s guide to sustainable development

3.  Education is a foundation for sustainable development.


This case study on ESD has come at a timely moment with the Climate Conference (Copenhagen, December, 2009)

1. Sustainable development revolves around a) a balanced economy, b) society, c) the environment, and d) the future.

2. Sustainable development is one of the main ways through which socio-economic development meeting present needs can be achieved without endangering our future.



The objectives  of TVET disciplines as component of sustainable development in the curricula

The parameters by which ESD must be understood to extend theidentification of specific skills and knowledge.

The objectives of TVET are  for the trainees to:

1. improve access to quality and relevant skills development; 

2. prepare people for employment;

3. adjust to changes in the nature of work conditions  caused by technological evolution or advances in industrial processes

4. optimizethe

use of the environment while instilling integrity for present and future generations.

5. providefor and promote lifelong education and training for self-reliance.

1TEVET is to create an adequate and sustainable generation of an internationally competitive skilled workforce capable of spreading the country’s production and export-led-socio-economic growth in a socially responsible manner.

2. In 2004, all public colleges replenished the stocks of their beds, classroom chairsand desks as an outcome of the training process.

3.  The main objective of TEVET is to shift the mind-set of people from basing theirlivelihood on exploitative forestry to sustainable forest-based enterprises.


As indicated by UNESCO International Experts  Meeting in Bonn in October 2004, there is  a need to re-orient TVET curricula to better prepare students and trainees for the conservation and sustainable use of resources, social equity and appropriate development, as well as with competencies to practice sustainable tasks at the workplace.


Data collection


A qualitative approach was used for data collection through personal and focus-group interviews.

Purposive sampling was used to select 6/20 TVET institutions that have centers of excellence in Kenya. The participants consisted of 6 principals, 6 heads of departments and 18 instructors.

The study is based on stratified random sampling. While 30 informants were targeted only 24 were involved.  In addition to data analysis, focus group and document analysis was performed.

The respondents consisted of: Deans of faculties  (5%); Director-managers (14%); Training  officers, (52%); University lecturers (29%).

Data were collected using a structured questionnaire.

Definition of SD and ESD by respondents to find out the extent of their knowledge about  SD






1.ESD means training learners to achieve their desired objectives in terms of career goals, creativity, and market needs.

2. ESD entails conserving natural resources and protecting the environment


1.Improvement in poverty reduction and , living conditions;

2. Job creation , equipping people and health environment ;

3. Use of resources to meet present and future need.


1. Respondents understood the term “sustainable development” but were not able to express it in a simple term as is found in the literature.

2. Most administrators (67%) defined sustainable development as setting up education systems that are able to provide relevant and marketable courses and trainees to college


3.  Sustainable development can exist and be maintained for a long period of time.

1. Sustainable development is the development of present resources with the view that   future generations can also benefit from the resources.

2. SD is keeping a good environment at work while at the same time helping oneself to achieve in one’s career.

3. A holistic approach to development where emphasis is laid on all components, economic, socio-cultural and environmental contributing to economic growth of a country where resources are used in an efficient/optimal way so as to meet the needs of future generations.






The Relevance of  ESD in TVET as perceived by training providers

1.The relevance of ESD was found by all respondents to be for the purpose of quality assurance and the development of skills to match economic needs.

2.  To be effective ESD needs to be integrated in program and curriculum development.

3.The trainingsystem isdivorced from the actual activities that the country needs for economic growth and employment creation.

4. Graduates lack skills.

5. Subjectsfor entrepreneurs are deemed good examples of education for ESD  as they equip learners withbusiness skills.


1.The respondents found the relevance of SD  crucial in training for skills development, quality assurance and social and economic development.

2.TVET curricula have the ESD  components.

3. There is a lack of awareness among instructors of how to teach it effectively.

4. About 90% of the respondents asserted that sustainable development is relevant to the discipline offered by TVET institutions.


1. TEVET’S Strategic Plan for 2007-2012 mentions sustainability in its mission statement.  Thus, sustainability in the skills imparted and the method of approach encourages life-long learning.

2.TVET provides the necessary human resources available for enhanced productivity, both at society and country level.

3.TVET is not an integral part of existing and revised curricula.

Sustainable development is  crucial to tourism studies and is fully integrated in them.

The name of their faculty is indicative in that it is called the of Sustainable Development and Tourism.

Pedagogy used to Deliver the Methods used to integrate ESD

1. Delivery is mostly through traditional means, i.e.  Lectures, seminars and tutorials.

2. The qualifications of trainers and assessors are not satisfactory.

3. Some intuitions send their learners to South Africa for on-the-job-training.


3. Distance learning  and educational tours, are used as delivery systems. 

1. The teaching approaches used are both theoretical and practical.

2. Trainees are taught the concept of cutting down one tree and replacing it by planting two.

3. Trainees demonstrate role-play exercises, group discussions, presentations reflecting real-life situations, seminars and tutorials. Environmental clubs.

4. Tree nursery projects are income-generating activities. 

1.The following  delivery approaches are used  in ESD:


*practical lessons

*group discussions

*industrial or site visits

*group demonstration

*role modeling



1.All the respondents agreed that whatever ESD elements are perceived to exist in their training provision are being delivered through traditional education, namely through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

2. Other approaches were used to deliver ESD, such as: placement in hotels and travel agencies, participation in educational tours, focus-groups, interviews, distance learning, e-learning, case-studies, talk by professionals, study trips, etc.

Some Barriers Encountered by learners to the  implementation or enactment of  ESD

1. irrelevance  perceived by students;

2. inability of the students to grasp the issues;

3. future career conflicts

1. awkward fit with subject area  and confusion over what and how to teach sustainable development;

2. financial restrictions;

3. lack of perception of environmental problems;

5. limited internal accreditationand, institutional commitment.

1. an overcrowded curriculum with too little time to update courses;

2. lack of staff expertise and their need to acquire new knowledge;

3. internal accreditation, validation systems and benchmarks;

4.financial restrictions;

5.instructors who feel  ownership and entitlement should be given.



1. financial  restrictions;

2.  lack of internal accreditation , validation and benchmarks;

3. reality of future careers conflict with sustainability teaching;

4.lack of staff expertise and the need to acquire new knowledge;

5. lack of labor markets for students.

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Share this news on your social media networks above

Sponsored Links