In May 2010, the Government launched the National Technical and Vocational Education and Skills Development (TVETSD) Policy. It followed a review of the TVET system conducted by the Ministry of Education in 2005. The vision for TVETSD is to “develop a quality, relevant and sustainable TVETSD system as an integral part of the social and economic strategy for the Kingdom of Swaziland” (Dalami, 2011). The framework of the TVETSD Policy is currently under development (legal framework, national vocational qualifications framework, Swaziland Training Authority Bill, financing model and curricula for TVET).
The Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Programme (PRSAP) was approved by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in 2007. It recognizes TVET as a key instrument for reducing poverty. Simultaneously, it observes a lack of coordination between TVET providers and a poor policy framework for TVET. According to PRSAP, TVET suffers from a negative image among the population, high tuition fees and a poorly coordinated government scholarship scheme.
PRSAP defines its goal as ensuring the development of skills through TVET and improving opportunities for active economic involvement and self-employment. To achieve this goal, the Government ensures to take the following measures with regard to TVET:
- “Introduce vocational skills at primary and secondary school level;
- Improve the co-ordination and rationalisation of the programmes offered by existing vocational training institutions in order to improve their efficiency and effectiveness;
- Ensure the accreditation of vocational institutions with reputable professional institutes;
- Review the entry requirements and structure of fees charged by government vocational training institutions with a view to improving access;
- Review the courses offered in vocational institutions and establish pro-active links with industries; and
- Review and strengthen the strategy for the collection of scholarship repayments.”
Following independence in 1968, the Government of Swaziland focused on expanding access to education – primary education in particular. Following increased enrolment rates at primary level, the focus shifted to ensuring quality, relevance and affordability of education at all levels.
The National Policy Statement on Education (1999) therefore seeks to provide education opportunities for youth and adults.
The main goals of Vocational Education and Training are defined as follows:
The Education Policy
- “Development of a functional gender sensitive, affordable and efficient VET-System of sufficient capacity according to the needs of the economy, the society and the individual;
- Enhancement of VET as an attractive and integrated component of a permeable comprehensive System of Education;
- Promotion of entrepreneurial skills and values as an integral element of VET at all stages, sectors and areas;
- Contribution to a foresighted and coordinated National Skills Development Planning and to Business and Employment Promotion Programs.”
acknowledges the low enrolment numbers in TVET and its negative perception. It emphasizes, however, that the TVET system is undergoing a restructuring process which includes the formulation of a TVET policy (TVETSD Policy). It stresses that the policy should address such issues as TVET structure, regulation, coordinated training and standards, a national qualifications framework and capacity building for senior trainers.
The main objectives for the TVETSD Policy are formulated as follows:
- “To meet the diverse socio-economic development needs of the country through the training and sustained expansion of a competent and employable work force with relevant, marketable skills;
- To establish effective TVETSD governance and management as well as a training system with clearly allocated roles and responsibilities, accountable to the National Assembly through the Ministry responsible for Education and Training;
- To establish mechanisms for the portability of formal, non-formal and informal qualifications, with provision for flexible exit and entry to both academic and skill related pathways;
- To establish equitable access to skills for formal sector or self-employment within the TVETSD system for all those wishing to participate.”
There is no coherent legislative framework for TVET. The subsector is fragmented and comprises of isolated pieces of legislation that deal with specific aspects of education.
- Vocational and Industrial Training Act (1982)
The Act establishes the Industrial and Vocational Training Board, which governs the Directorate of Industrial and Vocational Training (DIVT) at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It also provides a legislative framework for apprenticeship schemes, trade testing and guidelines for the establishment of training schemes.
- Human Resource Development and Planning Bill 2003
The Bill provides for the establishment of a National Training and Qualifications Authority (NTQA) with responsibility for the setting up of a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and managing all aspects of TVET.