During a two-day workshop which was conducted June 29th and 30th, all the participants proposed to the Director for Technical and Vocational Training that management of TEVET colleges needs to urgently move towards decentralization to allow industry and other players to effectively participate in TEVET programming.
This workshop was a follow up to the Principals’ Forum conducted on 17th April, 2017, where one of the key recommendations presented to the Ministry by the principals was, the requisite to decentralise governance of public TEVET institutions. This was further bolstered by the principals’ concerns regarding the observed limited participation of the private sector in governance of these TEVET institutions.
The review was focused on the following public institutions:
- National Technical Colleges
- Community Technical Colleges
- Community Skills Development Centres
The workshop also discussed enhanced training institution and industry partnerships as well as mapping the means of facilitating effective participation of the industry in the governance of the above colleges.
All the participants agreed that there was an anomaly within the three existing governance and management structures, and all agreed that there was need to exert efforts towards rectifying the anomaly, all in a bid to ensure that the colleges create management structures that are built on multi-stakeholder partnerships, transparency, with sustained accountability and agility.
Participants at the workshop recommended the following:
a.) Decentralisation of the governance/management of public colleges
All the presenters submitted the recommendation to have a decentralised governance and management structure. The SAC, NCIC and other industry-related member representatives indicated their commitment towards TEVET governance and also pledged their willingness to effectively participate in the process towards establishment of the devolved governance and management system. Of particular mention was the comment by the Director for DTVT; Dr Kafere, who said that “The government has always welcomed the participation of industry in vocational training programmes in Malawi”.
Joe Ching’ani’s (SAC chair) presentation as well as Wille Nkhoma (Illovo sugar), both submitted humble requests for the DTVT to consider devolving the governance and management of public colleges.
This approach, all presenters conceded, would ensure that key stakeholders participate in the nurturing and developing Malawi’s TEVET program.
b.) Engagement of key stakeholders in TEVET management issues
The workshop participants overwhelmingly recommended that the Department of TVET takes painstaking attention to stakeholders’ participation to effectively engage them in TEVET issues.
The participants recommended that stakeholders’ consultation and effective co-ordination was key in ensuring that concerns are brought to the fore and possible avenues towards problem solving are taken on board, surveyed and solutions are found, as a matter of urgency.
c.) The participants called for efficient, open and involving communication and decision-making processes. To start, the government should begin a consultation process, exemplified by this workshop, with all stakeholders so they can participate in the development of medium-term to long-term plans for TEVET.
d.) The participants called for the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development to take the lead so that the key stakeholders reach an agreement regarding a task-appropriate governance framework.
e.) The participants recommended that should the ministry approve the devolution route; the process should start with a few centres as pilot project, from where lessons can be drawn.
f.) The ministry, represented by Director for DTVT, recommended the need to come up with a model which can form the basis for the piloting phase.
g.) The participants recommended that STEP should constantly bring TEVET stakeholders together to ensure continuity. The Director for DTVT acknowledged the importance of constant stakeholder meetings and the benefits generated as a result of stakeholders’ effective participation in governance of TEVET colleges.