World TVET Database - Country Profiles

Colombia

TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
Colombia
published: 2013-07-05

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

In order to keep up with the current changes and developments in the world of work, the National System of Education for Work el Sistema Nacional de Formacion para el Trabajo (SNFT) was established in Colombia with the aim to improve education and training of the work force by standardising, shaping, evaluating and certificating national work competencies; and by establishing a strong connection between the labour market and the education and training system.

SNFT is therefore defined as a structure that oversees and combines companies, associations, education and technological development centres, technical and professional educational institutions, and the state in order to define and implement policies and strategies addressed to the continuing development and qualification of the national work force.

TVET legislation

  • The National Constitution of Colombia in its article № 54 and № 67 assigns the responsibility for education and training of the population to the State.
  • The Law 119 of 1994 puts the National Training Service (el Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, SENA) in charge of social and technical skills development of the Colombian work force by administering an integral system of professional education.
  • A Decree 1120 of 1996 issued by the Ministry of Social Protection proclaims SENA a leader in establishing the National System of Education for Work (el Sistema Nacional de la Formacion por el Trabajo, SNFT) and in proposing policies and strategies at national level with regard to professional education for work guaranteeing quality, consistency, efficacy and accessibility of lifelong learning.
  • The National Government in its CONPES (Consejo Nacional de Politica Economica y Social (National Council of Economic and Social Policy)) Document 2945 of 1997 describes the National System of Education for Work led by SENA as a framework within which institutions of technical, technological and professional education are cooperating with industry and government in order to improve the skills of the national work force.
  • Law 749 of 2002 adds two modalities: technological and technical-professional to public higher education.
  • Decree 933 of 2003 regulates Apprenticeship contracts. Article № 19 establishes certification of work competencies that is overseen by SENA.
  • Decree 1290 of 2009 regulates the evaluation of apprenticeships and the promotion of students to different levels of education.
  • The 10-year Education Plan 2006-2016 is a set of strategies, action proposals and goals with regard to education for the period of 10 years. Policies adopted for each part of the government involved in education are provided for in the 10-year plan.
  • The 10-year Education Plan serves as a basis for National Education Development Plan on national level, and for Development Plan of the Provision of Educational Services on regional level.
Sources:

PNDE(2006). The 10-year Plan Decenal de Educación 2006-2016. http://www.plandecenal.edu.co/html/1726/w3-channel.html. Accessed: 05.07. 2013.

SENA (2003). Sistema Nacional de Formación por el Trabajo. Enfoque Colombiano. Bogota: SENA

UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme extracted from UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia.

Scheme extracted from World Skills International. (2010). World Skills International 1950-2010. Brazil, Miola.

Formal TVET system

The provision of training for work in Colombia includes secondary education establishments, institutions of higher education, and training centres run by SENA.

The completion of basic education is the main requirement to enter secondary education. The latter consists of 2 years, 10th and 11th, and is intended for pupils aged 15 and 16. Secondary education is divided into the academic (Bachillerato Académico) and technical (Bachillerato en Tecnología o Aplicado) tracks. The Bachiller qualification is obtainedafter 2 years and gives graduates the right to pursue higher education.

The technical track that prepares students for work in production or service industries is further divided into:

  • Industrial track (Bachillerato Industrial) that prepares technicians and operators for different sectors of the industry in accordance with the needs of the labour market;
  • Commercial track (Bachillerato Comercial) that was initiated as a result of the increase in trade and growth in economic activity associated with it. This track normally takes the form of evening programmes;
  • Pedagogical Track (Bachillerato Pedagógico);
  • Agricultural Track (Bachillerato Agropecuario) that aims to connect secondary education with the rural sector;
  • Social Promotion Track (Bachillerato de Promoción Social) that aims to improve moral, intellectual and socio-economic level of rural women.
Higher education in the field of TVET is provided by technical professional institutions that offer programmes of 2-3 years, leading to the qualification of Professional Technician in a given occupation. TVET programmes in Universities or Technological Schools last for 3 years and lead to a qualification in a respective occupation (professional technician; professional or technologist).

Table 1 shows professional technician and technological institutions (201). Source: OECD (included in Sources)

Institutions Public Private Total
Technological 12 42 54
Professional technical 9 30 39

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

The term "non-formal education" under the general law of education was replaced with the term "education for work and human development" by Act 1064 of 2006. This education seeks to provide the necessary skills to satisfy labour market needs, resulting in obtaining a certificate of occupational proficiency.

SENA is responsible for the National System of Education for Work (SNFT). The SNFT consists of 3 sub-systems:

  • Standardisation of work competencies;
  • Evaluation and certification of work competencies; and
  • Establishing an education system based on work competencies.
The system based on work competencies facilitates the recognition of prior learning and improves the connection between formal and non-formal parts of education.

Two components make up the operational system of SNFT. The first is the standardising body (SENA) that approves norms for Colombian work competencies. The second is sectorial divisions, i.e. national bodies whose role is to propose policies for the development of education of the work force and of the national qualifications framework.

SENA provides free comprehensive training. It has an extensive infrastructure of laboratories and workshops to benefit companies at all technological levels. The board of directors and technical committee of its training centres, involve employers and trade unions. It continuously explores labour market trends and renews its offer of training in consultation with the production sector.

SENA offers programmes organised in semesters (4 semesters in total). Upon completion of the 4th semester a graduate is awarded a qualification in Arts and Business, which is equal to the Bachiller. Those completing a minimum of 1 year of the full 4-semester programme are awarded a certificate of occupational skills.

Graduates with the qualification in Arts and Business may apply for further studies in technical professional institutions of higher education.

Sources:

OCDE (2012). Evaluaciones de políticas nacionales de educación. La educación superior en Colombia. París. OCDE, Banco Internacional de Reconstrucción y Fomento/Banco Mundial.

OEI (1993) Sistema Educativo Nacional de Colombia. OEI Web-page.

SENA (2003). Sistema Nacional de Formación por el Trabajo. Enfoque Colombiano. Bogota: SENA.

UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

World Skills International. (2010). World Skills International 1950-2010. Brazil, Miola.


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3. Governance and financing

Governance

The Ministry of National Education (Ministerio de Educacion National, MEN) is the main body responsible for education in Colombia. The Ministry is deeply involved in the development and implementation of work competencies and sees this aspect as an important component for the improvement of the employability of the work force.

The need of the Colombian State to invest in the social and technical development of the country workers led to the creation of the National Learning Service, SENA, as the institution responsible for offering and implementing comprehensive training. Created in 1957 by the Decree-Law 118 of June 21 with the aim to take the responsibility of leading the constitution of the National System of Education for Work (SNFT), SENA articulates the offer of public and private, technical secondary, professional technical, technological and non-formal education (now education for work and human development).

The SENA Strategic model contributes to the country's competitiveness in the following ways:

  • By increasing the productivity of enterprises and the regions; and
  • By improving the social inclusion of vulnerable individuals and communities through actions of: (1) Comprehensive training; (2) Employment and entrepreneurship; (3) Development of national system of knowledge SENA; and (4) Institutional strengthening.
Financing

Students of the programmes offered by SENA study free of charge. The public institution that finances the studies at all level is called “Instituto Colombiano de crédito educativo y estudios en el exterior” (ICETEX). It works through study credits at low interest rates for low incomes students.

Sources:

SENA (2011). Plan Estratégico SENA 2011/14 con visión 2020 “SENA de clase mundial”. Bogota: SENA.

UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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4. TVET teachers and trainers

At the time of compiling this report, no information was found.


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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Secondary vocational education

In accordance with Decree 080 of 1980 the graduates of the secondary professional education can be awarded the Bachiller qualifcation or the qualification of Professional Technician of Middle level.

Those completing one of the programmes offered by SENA obtain a Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP).

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The establishment of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is one of the strategies for the improvement of the development of human resources in Colombia. The Framework is in the process of being elaborated.

Quality assurance

In order to guarantee quality assurance of the Education of Human Capital, the Ministry of National Education is strengthening the quality assurance system at all levels of education starting from pre-school education to higher education and education for the world of work.

In order to achieve this the Ministry is investing in the promotion of accreditation of higher education institutions and of those involved in the education for the world of work; and in improving the registration system of the institutions providing educational services.

Sources:

SENA (2003). Sistema Nacional de Formación por el Trabajo. Enfoque Colombiano. Bogota: SENA.

UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Web-page of Colombia Aprende. http://www.colombiaaprende.edu.co/html/home/1592/w3-propertyvalue-45771.html. Accessed: 03.09.2012.



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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Challenges

TVET in Colombia is considered to be a type of education with lower quality and prestige in comparison to other types. It is believed that TVET is chosen by those who were not admitted to university education. Other issues faced by Colombian TVET are:

  • Lack of relevance of training provided to the needs of national economy;
  • Lack of mechanisms to ensure quality assurance of curriculum design, teacher training, the training and evaluation processes;
  • Lack of monitoring mechanisms of graduates to determine the impact of training; and
  • Lack of a culture of comprehensive management control that involves not only technical aspects but also administrative and financial ones.
Sources:

SENA (2003). Sistema Nacional de Formación por el Trabajo. Enfoque Colombiano. Bogota: SENA.



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7. Statistical information(*)


Population (Million)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

43.18
43.84
44.50
45.15
45.80
46.45
Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+1.51 %


For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
21.91 21.28
female male  
22.25 21.59
female male  
22.59 21.91
female male  
22.92 22.23
female male  
23.26 22.54
female male  
23.59 22.85
female male  

50.73 %

50.74 %

50.76 %

50.77 %

50.78 %

50.79 %



Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012


3 393

3 713

4 661

5 403

5 105

6 180

7 144

7 752


Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database

Employment (Million)


total female male
Population

46.45

23.59 22.85
.
Labour Force
42.3%
Labour Force Rate

42.3%

34%

50.9%

Labour Force

19.67

8.03 (40.8%) 11.64 (59.2%)
Unemployment Rate

11.4%

15.1%

8.9%

.
Unemployment
11.4%
Unemployed

2.25

1.21 (54%) 1.03 (46%)


Youth Employment (Million)


total youth total female male
Population 46.45 10.61 (22.9%) 5.23 (49.3%) 5.38 (50.7%)
.
Labour Force Rate

37.2%

30.8%

43.4%

Labour Force 19.67 3.95 (20.1%) 1.61 (40.8%) 2.34 (59.2%)
Unemployment Rate

23%

29.9%

18.2%

.
Unemployed 2.25 0.91 (40.4%) 0.48 (53.1%) 0.43 (46.9%)
Unemployed
youth : total

40.4%

.

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market


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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions


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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations

References

  • OEI (1993) Sistema Educativo Nacional de Colombia. OEI Web-page, [ last access on 03 September 2012
  • SENA (2003). Sistema Nacional de Formación por el Trabajo. Enfoque Colombiano. Bogota: SENA
  • SENA (2011). Plan Estratégico SENA 2011/14 con visión 2020 “SENA de clase mundial”. Bogota: SENA
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII ed. Colombia. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE
  • Web-page of Colombia Aprende. http://www.colombiaaprende.edu.co/html/home/1592/w3-propertyvalue-45771.html. Accessed: 03.09.2012.
Further reading

  • Ministry of National Education (2003) Competencias laborales: base para mejorar la empleabilidad de las personas. Bogota: MEN.
  • Ministry of National Education (2003). Articulacion de la educación con el mundo productivo. La formación de competencias laborales. Bogota: MEN.
Abbreviations

CAP - Certificate of Professional Aptitude

CONPES - National Council of Economic and Social Policy (Consejo Nacional de Politica Economica y Social)

SENA - National Training Service (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje)

SNFT - National System of Education for Work (Sistema Nacional de Formación para el Trabajo)





Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2013-07-05
Validated by: Technological School - Central Technological Institute Escuela Tecnologica - Instituto Técnico Central (ETITC)



page date 2014-12-19

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