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Prioritize South Sudan’s technical, vocational trainings - researchers

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May 14, 2010 (JUBA) — The socio-economic development of Southern Sudan will become a reality if more emphasis is put on the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) needs of communities, a new research has revealed.

The research, conducted by Plan International, Canada (Plan Canada) with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) describes TVET as an organized career-technical trainings in the form of educational programs, usually categorized in form of industrial, technological and business education as well as medical and agricultural-related occupations.

Reacting prior to today’s [Thursday] official launch of the study report, Plan Canada’s Regional Advisor, Ndungu Kahihu said the report was a culmination of the 2006 partnership that Plan International entered into with the Government of Southern Sudan to rebuild the technical, vocational education, training capacity and infrastructure after nearly two-decades of civil war.

The nearly two-year study reportedly sought to explore the benefits of and suggest improvements to existing plans and strategies for addressing TVET rehabilitation and development challenges and opportunities, including the rehabilitation and construction of its facilities.

It further strived to examine the support required for the development of a comprehensive curriculum, policies and standards for TVET and the introduction of TVET models, institutions and other opportunities to Southern Sudan.

“The study identified community needs, perspectives and capacities for the development of TVET infrastructure in Southern Sudan. It is a departure from traditional models of aid and development which are initiated and imposed without full community participation,” the Plan Canada’s Regional Advisor said.

“It [the study] engaged diverse communities in Southern Sudan to systematically bring forward the concerns and desires of various community members for the purposes of informing TVET planning and development,” he added.

According to the 59-paged report entitled, “Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Capacities in Southern Sudan: Assessment and Opportunities”, TVET, if property developed, can provide marginalized communities (youth and ex-combatants) with livelihood options essential for sustainable development.

York University’s Samer Richard Abdelnour, one of the report authors told Sudan Tribune yesterday that philosophical approaches, involving the communities as well as the existing market frameworks had to be taken into consideration during the assessment.

As part of the methodologies used, however, the researchers reportedly employed various techniques, including exploratory workshops, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, while numerous opportunities and challenges were also identified in as far as the development of TVET was concerned.

“Although there are many challenges to the development of TVET in Southern Sudan, there are also many hopes and opportunities for improvement and growth. The issue of vocational education is a serious priority for development because it plays an important role in securing peace and sustainable recovery in Southern Sudan,” Mr. Samer said.

But to achieve all that is required to uplift technical and vocational education standards, policy makers and stakeholders have been challenged to develop clear and achievable short and long term TVET strategies.

As such, many have argued that the recommendations presented in the 59-paged report needed to be highly considered in relation to identified market needs and set priorities.

(ST)

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