How Entrepreneurship and Innovation is integral to Egypt’s TVET Reform

Monday, December 9, 2019

How Entrepreneurship and Innovation is integral to Egypt’s TVET Reform

Monday, December 9, 2019

Investing in an Inclusive Future

Education is at the core of the upliftment of standards and quality of life since it is the foundation for human capital. The application of appropriate science and technology is the basis for improved economic growth. As an alternative to traditional academic learning in Egypt, technical and vocational education and training is a substitute for the Egyptian high school degree Thanweya ‘Ama, where students enroll after the completion of their preparatory education and focus on occupational learning. With the globalization wave, requirement to develop knowledge and practical skills on a continuous basis is necessary. Many education development initiatives have taken on board the need to foster transferable skills, because characteristics such as innovation and creativity are increasingly needed for all levels and types of work. TVET has a special role to play in providing the knowledge and practical skills that empower people to improve the quality of their daily lives and earn income. TVET today involves more than skills acquisition programmes. Its policies and strategies stress the need for stronger links with the labour market and for strategies to help graduates to adjust continuously to the fast changes in the market.

Yet for a long time, TVET in the Region has been neglected, fragmented and unevenly developed. In recent years, with Egypt’s recognition of prior learning and skills acquired informally, there has been a policy shift that recognizes the importance of TVET in addressing a number of socioeconomic challenges faced by the government. Accommodating close to 2 million students and over half a million graduates per year, the sector in Egypt faces many challenges, especially in relation to the efficiency of the labour market and the deteriorating conditions that have disproportionally affected many of Egypt’s youth. The important role of education in promoting more entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours is now becoming recognized and the benefits of entrepreneurship education are no longer just limited to start-ups, innovative ventures and new jobs.

In the past decade, most TVET reform programmes have been designed to prepare people for paid employment and many focus on employment in large enterprises to help TVET planners and providers improve the relevance of supply, by ensuring that the demand side is considered. Still there have been limitations in gearing Egyptian TVET youths to become active contributors due to pre-defined ideas of what they can and cannot do, depriving local communities of their talents, and therefore constraining meaningful pathways for individuals and economic growth. Entrepreneurship has also become a key competency for all, helping young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake. TVET, at all levels including tertiary education, is a main contributor to entrepreneurship skills acquisition in both its senses because of its relevance in ensuring that the current and future labour meet economic development needs. Nonetheless, there is still relatively little emphasis in national development policies, and even fewer highlight the skills dimension of this component on the national economy. (Read more…)

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