A comparative analysis of Technical and Vocational Education and Training policy in selected African countries.
In a number of countries, the need to provide knowledge, attitude and skills necessary for employment, economic, technological and national development has renewed demand for improvement and reform in TVET systems to make them fit for this task. This is a qualitative, interpretive, cross-national comparative study which explores, analyses and compares the TVET policies of South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria to identify their nature, similarities and differences. The study has the potential to provide insight for educationists, researchers and policy developers, particularly in Africa, regarding the policies, practices and experiences of technical and vocational education and training in other countries, which can in turn be used as a basis for on-going TVET reform. Gaps, silences and positive aspects of the policies analysed were revealed for improvement and consolidation to meet international requirements, standards and recognition. The study revealed that TVET policy implementations is poor in all the countries covered by the study and the system has failed in providing the much needed skills required for employment, economic and national development. TVET practitioners reflected on the fact that graduates of technical and vocational education and training were poorly trained and are not responsive to the needs of the labour market. The technical and vocational education and training sector is bedevilled by numerous challenges, which include under-funding, inadequate teaching and learning facilities, and poor governance. Other serious challenges facing the sector included inadequate qualified personnel and poor public perception of the sector. Experiences of practitioners of technical and vocational education and training indicate that the system has a very poor track record and suffers from lack of recognition, under-funding, poor public perception of the sector, lack of adequate learning facilities and lack of qualified staff and inadequate training. This policy learning however has to proceed with caution as this study revealed that TVET policy variants appear to be located in multiple documents which may present challenges for practitioners.