UNESCO International Experts Meeting
Learning for Work, Citizenship and Sustainability
"Skills development leading to age-appropriate TVET should be integral to education at all levels, and can no longer be regarded as optional or marginal,” concluded TVET experts from around the world at the UNESCO International Experts Meeting “Learning for Work, Citizenship and Responsibility” held in Bonn, Germany, in October 2004. “It is especially important to integrate skills development in Education for All (EFA) programmes and to satisfy TVET demand created by learners completing basic education”, they declared.
More than 120 technical experts from around the world attended the meeting, which was organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC, the Section for Technical and Vocational Education at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and the German Education Minister Edelgard Bulmahn opened the meeting, which was a five year review of progress in TVET since the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 1999. Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede, Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board, also gave an address.
The meeting, which was held on the threshold of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, also examined how TVET systems may be re-oriented to contribute to sustainable development. “The challenge of sustainable development looks set to become one of the dominant themes of international co-operation in the twenty-first century,” said Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. “Within the overarching vision of Education for All (EFA), TVET in particular must play a major role in processes of integrated sustainable development. To play this role effectively, TVET itself must adapt and change,” he added.
The meeting generated an agenda for TVET within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. A Bonn Declaration defining the role and contribution of TVET to sustainable development, and an Action Plan for its implementation, were formulated on the final day of the meeting. These two outputs have been submitted to the UNESCO Director-General for his information and consideration.