CONTEXTUALISING TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

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CHAPTER THREE CONTEXTUALISING TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

INTRODUCTION

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) refers to purposeful interventions to bring about learning to make learners productive in specific areas of economic activity (like occupations and specific work tasks). It has the power to improve human capabilities and also opens ways for people to be able to have choices of work. TVET practice needs to provide education and training to men and women equitably in both rural and urban areas. This is the overarching objective that is achieved through effective leadership practice in TVET (Finch & Crunkilton, 1999:37; Foucher & Brezot, 1997:114).
It is important to note that TVET deans assist to prepare learners for specific types of work accompanied practical activities. The intention of TVET is to prepare skilled workers to satisfy the needs of employers for the production of goods and services. Training in skills signifies the development of qualifications. This training almost always focuses on the performance of one task or limited sets of tasks (Putnam, 2002:15).
A report of the World Bank (2005:15) considers education to be the main instrument leading to effective development strategies. The report continues by saying that TVET must be the tool to reduce poverty, bring peace, safeguard the environment, ameliorate the quality of life for everyone and work towards long lasting development. With this concept in mind, leadership in TVET colleges should undertake its main aim to provide continuous technical skills and finally provide a new work force.
In effect, TVET enables its trainees to develop their potential as a result of which they become able to withstand the emerging challenges in their environment. For these and other reasons, it is one of the most effective institutions in society (Cho, 2002:469). In general, in all African countries including Ethiopia, the responsibility for TVET is shared between the ministries for technical education and labour, although programmes like agriculture, health and teacher education are the responsibility of sector ministries (King & Palmer, 2005: 11; Bernd & Helmut, 2011:3).
Bernard (2009:46) points out that leadership is central to the survival, growth, and prosperity of TVET institutions. In this highly competitive, complex and fast changing world, leadership involves qualities beyond professional knowledge and expertise. Rubenstein (2005:46) adds that these qualities include the ability to move an organisation “in the right direction by effectively understanding, evaluating, initiating and managing change.”
At present, as TVET is the centre for the development of required human skills, it is given high priority as a source of skilled human resources. MOFED (2014:52) has indicated that a plan fixed on confirmed targets is a tool to operationalise the education sector policy. It is formulated to help in minimising if not eliminating poverty in Ethiopia. It also helps to envision economic development founded on the application of developed skill and technology.
However, TVET college deans are affected by a lack of leadership skill and social competencies; therefore, changes must be made to Ethiopian leadership culture to incorporate transformational leadership. Organisational and social changes are interlinked and are affected by politics and as such, current TVET college leadership is ineffective in eliciting the respect, trust and loyalty of followers (Hassen, 2009: 16). It needs to be noted that Ethiopian employers are discontented with the proficiency of their workers (Tegegn, 2011:45). Likewise, Bernd and Helmut (2011:1) have explained that complex organisations may require better efficiency of better qualified personnel. Therefore, such complex organisations prefer to hire technicians to artisans.
In developing countries, the successful achievement of TVET may be considered a key aspect of such countries’ advancement in their development. TVET is believed to have played a vital role in a country that has evolved into a technologically advanced one (Tekeste, 2006:154).
Contextualising technical and vocational education and training in general and with specific reference to Ethiopia in this chapter provides essential background information on the theme of the study and the empirical study to be carried out. Therefore, the first part of this chapter will provide information about the meanings, contributions and leadership of TVET, and the second section discusses the notion of TVET in developing countries and Ethiopia.

MEANINGS AND FORMS OF TVET

According  to   the   United  Nations   Educational,   Scientific  and   Cultural   Organisation   and  the International Labour Organisation (UNESCO & ILO, 2002: 43), TVET is referred to as:
Those aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge related to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.
In recent years, the term skills development has come to be accepted in the developing world as synonymous to the definition of TVET. Burnett (2008:8) has added that TVET sometimes is known as Vocational Education and Training (VET) or Career and Technical Education (CTE). He claims that it can be considered to be the means of preparing skilled workers for occupational fields in the world of work. It also can mean preparation for lifelong learning for the creation of responsible citizens.
According to Gerhards (2003:52), technical education also focuses on theoretical vocational preparation of students. These trainees are expected to be highly equipped with skills in modern technology. Furthermore, Bernd and Helmut (2011:4) indicate that the aim of technical education is to prepare learners for jobs which are indicated as above the skilled crafts, but lower than the engineering professions. In connection with this, Laulgo (2009:897) has stated that TVET prepares trainees for jobs based on practical activities. These activities are practice-oriented and related to a specific trade and occupation. It falls under the MOE for the reason that it is considered to be part of the formal educational system.
Since the 21st century, the concept of TVET of high quality has been in a state of rapid transformation. Traditional programmes of low standard and level have been replaced by a new concept of “career-technical education” (Bottoms, Pucel & Phillips, 2000:12; Daughtry & Finch, 1997:179; Wonacott, 2001:138).
TVET leadership has developed from task-oriented and human-oriented leadership to a transformational leadership style according to Yukl, (2010: 58). The TVET deans who are at the forefront as leaders in their respective offices have experienced dramatic change.

THE ROLE OF TVET IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Dugger and Naik (2001:31) state that the challenge that nations of the world confront in improving the skills of their workforce is to satisfy the needs of their national development and the requirements of a fast changing world at the global level. The success of nations and individuals has become more dependent on the existence of transferrable and renewable skills and knowledge (King & Martin, 2002:9).
The extremely important role that TVET plays in connection with equipping individuals with the required skills and knowledge which enable them to take part in the social, economic and technological innovation processes is highly recognised at present by both the highly and less advanced countries of the world. Accordingly, the World Bank (2010:17) has indicated that prior to the 1980s, the TVET system was considered to be a central part of the development strategy of nations. In spite of the above fact, TVET began to lose funding and support as time went on. However, the need of the 21st century for new skills to advance ICT (information communication technology) stressed the high importance of TVET colleges at an international level.
Currently, TVET training has become a means for creating new job opportunities and is also serving as a source to generate income in the different economic sectors (King & Martin, 2002:9). The African Union (2007:12) has emphasised that if local needs are targeted in education and training, TVET can play an important role to the extent of bringing about high economic development that results in the reduction and even final elimination of poverty. However, appropriate leadership should be put into effect to achieve this.

TVET IN A CHANGING WORLD

According to King, McGrath and Rose (2007:352), TVET plays an important role contributing to global development. Oketch (2007:228) explains that TVET allows wide participation of people who need skills training which is appropriately related to the labour market.

Socio-economic development

The UN (2010:53) has emphasised the suitability of TVET colleges for contributing to the socio-economic development both at national and international level and for the attainment of the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals) through the development of human capital. Skills development enables individuals to get an improved chance to be assigned to better employment. This fact remains true particularly for countries where poverty is rife. The formal sector of education in developing countries is extremely limited and there are few job opportunities and consequently, many job-seeking school leavers and graduates cannot find employment.
Zerihun (2008:244) declares that unemployment in developing countries may be reduced if the TVET curricula are prepared in a way to focus on developing people who can create jobs rather than seek jobs. If this is achieved; it allows less developed countries to get closer to meeting the MDGs. This is true particularly for those who graduate from secondary schools but who fail to proceed to the higher level of education. If such students gain skills by getting into TVET and become job creators, then unemployment can be combated to a certain extent.
On the basis of recommendations of the study of the World Bank (2015a :16), TVET provision is gender-balanced focused on private enterprises; thereby bringing about additional economic development to developing countries, where females form about half of the active self-employed work population. In order to attain socio-economic development, TVET leaders are expected to realise the aspirations of the people in addition to identifying the goals of their respective societies. This will assist in driving the vision of Ethiopia’s future and developing the capacity of mobilising the people to achieve societal goals.

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Global competitiveness

Addy (2008:18) has pointed out that TVET supports the socio-economic welfare of individuals as well as increasing international competitiveness. The present day globalising world is experiencing rapidly developing technology. It is realised that there is a big gap in knowledge and the ownership of advanced technologies between less developed and highly advanced countries of the world (Bass, 1996:21). Mundy (2002:491) avers that capacity for innovation of developing countries can be enhanced through technical knowledge transferred through TVET, linked to career guidance, as this would enable them to produce technical solutions for the local environment and for export. The development gap will otherwise widen and the competitiveness of developing countries be reduced even more in the global economy.
In addition, Mundy (2002:491) concludes, “Therefore, in the era of global competition where the environments are dynamic, many organisations must shift the paradigms of their leaderships from a transactional to transformational leadership style in order to achieve their goals.”

Career mobility in an increasingly dynamic employment market

As economies and world markets change, new concepts emerge in the field of TVET. For Hillage and Pollard (1998:86), employability refers to the ability of persons to use their knowledge, skills and attitudes to find work, to present their abilities to employers well, and to apply these well in different work environments. Klugman (2005:148) says that, “employability somewhat erodes the traditional employment model characterised by continuous careers in the form of employment of unspecified duration in the same organisation throughout one’s working life.”
Rose (2007:35) states that TVET is expected to provide opportunities to develop learner skills and to enable workers to show that they are flexible under various working environments. He states that the reason behind this is the broad individual competence profile. TVET creates favourable conditions for developing workers to be able to change jobs. This is done by targeting skills and knowledge development.
Oketch (2007:228) has pointed out that competency is the use of knowledge and skills in an industrial environment which pays more attention to what is expected from an employee in his/her workplace. It includes in it the competence to transfer work ability to new work contexts. The competency based training approach aimed at facilitating the creation of an adjustable workforce is being adopted by TVET institutions.
Moreover, the successful delivery of quality TVET is also closely linked to developing leadership ability, as well as a suitable system of qualifications and of control to drive the whole TVET system (AU, 2007:10).

Adjustability and strength in recognition of qualifications

There are varying ways in which competencies are developed. Knowledge can be acquired through other means in addition to training in a formal classroom. This remains true for TVET institutions. It should not be forgotten that TVET institutions as centres of skills training have a strong connection with the labour market (Lee, 2006:281).
Kirchberger (2010:6) considers qualification pathways to be a linking pin for TVET. He avers that qualification pathways invite the design and implementation of a qualification framework. This confirms what was possible to obtain through experience in addition to training. UNESCO (2004: has stated that the potential role of TVET institutions is being increasingly realised by many developing countries for their national development as well as international competitiveness. Therefore, they have started preparing national TVET strategies that consider societal trends. The overwhelming demand for TVET poses monumental leadership challenges to the respective institutions. It calls for the re-engineering of the processes and procedures of leading TVET in the country to deliver market responsive programmes, which can solve societal problems.

TVET IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Schulpen and Gibbon (2002:9) have indicated that TVET provision in countries undergoing development occurs in a challenging socio-economic milieu. In order that TVET institutions can contribute to the extent that national development is realised, its provision needs to be addressed urgently. Challenges which these TVET institutions faced and still face are tackled in different ways on the basis of specific features of the countries where they are found.
It should be kept in mind that regional differences exist in the structures of organising TVET. Beside these, developing countries’ TVET leaders must establish consensus among the people they lead in order to enlist their support to accomplish the desired results. Atchoarena, Philipps and Holmes (2007:15) declare, “involving all members in an organisation helps to build a team that holds common interests making it possible for leaders to inspire their teams to achieve goals.” In a situation of this kind, resources are likely to “be used effectively, efficiently and in a sustainable manner” (Lee, 2006:288). Thus, it will be possible for leaders at all levels of the colleges to be accountable to all the people they lead.
The general state of TVET in developing countries is discussed under various headings in the sections that follow.

Quality and number of students

Duodu (2006:48) states that in most less advanced countries, science education at the school level is hardly able to equip students with a tangible knowledge base. In connection with this, Mundy (2002:491) adds that the number of students in secondary schools with the required knowledge and skills that enable them to follow scientific and technical programmes at the higher education level is inadequate. In some countries, the formulation of poor educational polices is the main cause of the poor science knowledge background of students entering higher education.
Mulaw and Schmidt (2006:15) suggest that better teachers, curricula and training facilities would improve the standard and image of TVET, attract more students and provide a strong technical workforce for the nation. In order to do this, TVET deans have to consider individuals’ needs for achievement and growth acting as a coach or mentor. An awareness must be developed in individuals about the importance of TVET so that they can realise their potential with due recognition of each individual’s uniqueness. Considerate leaders listen to the individual; understand his/her own strengths and weaknesses and help to nourish abilities and confidence (Bass, 1997:15).

Quality and number of educators

Inadequacy in the number of qualified TVET teachers is clearly observed in most developing countries. Consequently, this has repercussions with regard to the quality of the graduating students. So, the TVET institutions should make every effort to transfer knowledge to colleagues through peer mentoring. Mentors or coaches can help employees to identify new opportunities, and to advance new strategies (AU, 2007:16).

Quality and image of TVET

Delano and Mittelsteadt (2005:25) have pointed out that TVET is limited in scope, quality and relevance in most developing countries. The training programmes are irrelevant for the requirements of the local labour market. The institutions generally also lack the tools and equipment required for practical training. In many cases even if such tools and equipment are found in the workshops, they are found to be obsolete. A lack of adequate training equipment results in practical demonstrations being overcrowded. For this reason, most of the trainees observe the demonstration only and do not get a chance to get adequate practice.
Training remains theoretical for the reason that the colleges are inadequately resourced. As a result of this, graduates are not considered to be better skilled in comparison with their academic counterparts in the labour market. This again results in the acquisition of a poor image by the colleges (AU, 2007:23).
It is pointed out by NICHE (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education) (2008:5) that TVET institutions of countries such as Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi have begun to gain the attention of both their national governments and donors. The organisation believes that this is an indication that the image of TVET institutions in developing countries is gradually improving. Developing countries with previously poor TVET strategies have now started using more foreign aid for the creation of a solid national TVET strategy. For these countries it is important to create a national TVET strategy that produces manpower that satisfies the human resource requirements for the labour market.
According to the researcher, this becomes feasible only when the TVET college dean possesses competencies that are critical to leader effectiveness, such as sharing information, providing help, encouraging collaborative behaviour among team members and having the ability to inspire commitment to values and mission.

Quality and number of TVET institutions

A study conducted by the African Union (2007:21) has shown that TVET colleges in most developing countries are few, and as such they have low enrolment rates and few graduates in comparison with their academic counterparts. It indicates that the reasons given for this are the negative societal image of TVET and that both financial and material expenditure for the provision of TVET is higher than education programmes in the humanities. In order to alleviate this problem and others, TVET college deans must be able to adapt their leadership to motivate and retain career-focussed instructors and learners.
Based on the annual reports of the education ministries of different African countries, the African Union (2007:24) has indicated that most of these countries try their best to use the education budget to provide sufficiently for the wants of general education as well as TVET. However, the budget’s allotment is still extremely small to improve the TVET system as well as other educational programmes. This is because the lion’s share of the ministerial budgets is allotted to cover operational costs.

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Relevance to the labour market and traineeships

With regard to the labour market and traineeships, Atchoarena, Philipps and Holmes (2007:11) insist that a close partnership between TVET colleges and the local labour market is basic to working hand-in-hand with the preparation of the curricula focussing on the development of the skills required by the labour market. However, in developing countries most TVET curricula are supply-driven and, as such, receive few contributions from the labour market.
One can conclude that TVET is the means for addressing the huge joblessness that is endemic in developing countries. It is assumed that that they do not have the skills required for self-employment or for being employed by employers. According to the researcher, relevant training is therefore important to be accommodated in the labour market.

THE ROLE OF THE TVET DEAN

TVET is undergoing rapid change in the contemporary world and the future quality of TVET institutions depends on how the sector responds to the evolving realities in the larger world (Atchoarena et al., 2007:14). Effective leadership in colleges is one of the determining factors to decide whether the college is able to manage the change effectively (Munitz, 1995:1). Deans of TVET colleges have been assigned as persons responsible for leading their colleges during times of change.
Leaders do not solve problems by themselves. At this time when the world has become highly complex, problems call for groups with the capable expertise and with multiple resources as well. Therefore, a strong emphasis should be placed on advancing teamwork and effective leadership for the reasons mentioned above (Kouzes & Posner, 1995:22). Due to the complexity of the challenges created by technological advancement, it has become imperative for organisations to solve problems effectively and efficiently. Therefore, leaders must strive to improve the innovativeness of the members of their organisations in multiple disciplines. Vigorous attempts should be made to implement new ideas and suggestions in the quickest time possible. Problems and challenges must be identified and solved by leaders with expertise in facilitating change (Hughes et al., 2002:594).
According to the researcher, effective leadership is required to lead followers in innovative thinking and to promote discovering new solutions. However, it is not easy to make all employees work towards a common goal. A leader should be able to synchronise the thinking of others. Employees may lack the above creative thinking and problem solving skills. Research shows that using people’s creativity is one way of motivating them (Kotter, 1990:18). The leader can create intrinsic motivation in their followers by encouraging them to think for themselves.
The dean’s role may be multifaceted and may vary from college to college; yet, there is one role that all deans are expected to play, that is, deal with change. In this regard, researchers have found that followers would be willing to work actively for new changes if they are empowered. Therefore, they suggest that leaders need to have qualities that enable them to urge their followers adapt to changing situations through their transformational leadership (Yukl, 2010:297). It is important to provide followers with opportunities which give them the chance to participate and to air their thoughts and opinions. Their thinking should be given due consideration and then be accommodated in leadership decisions. Change will be more willingly accepted by followers if they feel that they have made some input into the process of change (Munitz, 1995: 6).
The MOE (2008: 2) has summed up the role of the dean as follows: “… the ability to change rapidly and giving direct response to client demands has placed the TVET College in a unique leadership position within the wave of TVET reform.” In Ethiopia however, TVET colleges require growth, support from societal groups, business and industry and particularly support in providing middle level job training (Bernd & Helmut, 2011:6; MOFED, 2014:3). TVET in Ethiopia will be discussed next.

TVET IN ETHIOPIA

So far, we have discussed both the meaning of TVET and forms of TVET institutions, the role of TVET and national development, TVET colleges in a changing world, TVET colleges in developing countries and the role of TVET institutions. This provided a cursory, broad background for the next section that will deal with the context of TVET institutions in Ethiopia.

Context of TVET

Ethiopia is one of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world. MOFED (2006:67) reports that the population of Ethiopia in the year 2006 was 80 million and that 31 million of the then total population lived below the defined poverty line of 45 US cents per day (World Bank, 2015a :17). It states that despite improvements in basic aspects of life in recent years, development is low in comparison with the rest of the world (MOFED, 2014:5). The annual growth of the population of Ethiopia is around two million. This has placed considerable strain on the country’s resource base and on the labour market, as well as on its ability to deliver services. According to the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) of the country, Ethiopia has to increase its average economic growth rate with between 11% to 15% per year to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MOFED, 2015:2).
The MOE (2015:67) of Ethiopia has stated that at present, Ethiopia has committed herself to participating in the competitive global market economy through the active implementation of a poverty reduction policy which requires technically and professionally trained citizens with the “ability to learn” in specific occupations. Hence, TVET must improve economic competitiveness through a trained workforce; enhance employability of TVET learners as well as readiness for self-employment. Ethiopia is putting a comprehensive human resource development programme in place, in part via TVET.
Transformational leadership in TVET has been referred to as the redeemer of academic institutions or as being totally irrelevant. Bolman and Deal (1992:94) indicate that leadership plays a key role in bringing about organisational change and improvement in the teaching, curriculum, and the relations between colleges and their stakeholders. Maeroff (1980:638), like other researchers, also indicates that academic leaders should be transformational leaders, reasoning that leaders of higher education institutions must be able to take difficult decisions. Yukl (2010:59) concludes that the TVET dean should have vision, creativity and courage, while Fisher, Tack and Wheeler (1988:58) and Kirkbride (2006:29) find that college deans are people with vision. A large amount of research has been conducted in academic institutions, supporting the idea of a successful TVET dean as a transformational leader since Bass introduced transformational leadership in 1985 (Tucker, Bass & Daniel, 1992: 16).
To further contextualise TVET institutions in Ethiopia, they will need to be considered within the context of the Ethiopian education system as depicted in Figure 3.1.

TABLE OF CONTENT
DECLARATION
DEDICATION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABSTRACT
KEY CONCEPTS
TABLE OF CONTENT
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
ABBREVATIONS AND ACRONYMS
CHAPTER ONE  INTRODUCTION, ORIENTATION AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
1.2 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THIS STUDY
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AND RESEARCH QUESTION
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.6 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
1.7 ASSUMPTIONS
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
1.9 DEMARCATION OF THE FIELD OF STUDY
1.10 CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS
1.11 DIVISION OF CHAPTERS
1.12 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER TWO  REVIEW OF LEADERSHIP THEORY AND STYLE
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 LEADERSHIP THEORIES AND STYLES
2.3 LEADER-FOLLOWER INTERACTION
2.4 LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE
2.5 LEADERSHIP IN AFRICA
2.6 LEADERSHIP IN ETHIOPIA
2.7 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER THREE  CONTEXTUALISING TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 MEANINGS AND FORMS OF TVET
3.3 THE ROLE OF TVET IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3.4 TVET IN A CHANGING WORLD
3.5 TVET IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
3.6 THE ROLE OF THE TVET DEAN
3.7 TVET IN ETHIOPIA
3.8 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER FOUR  RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
4.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.4. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.5 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER FIVE  EMPIRICAL FINDINGS: THE INFLUENCE OF DEANS’ LEADERSHIP STYLE ON THE PERCEIVED WORK PERFORMANCE OF TEACHERS
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
5.3 A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE ANALYSIS STRATEGY
5.4 A DESCRIPTION OF AND MOTIVATION FOR THE ANALYSIS STRATEGY
5.5 THE ANALYSIS RESULTS, INTERPRETATION AND FINDINGS OF THE EXECUTED ANALYSIS STRATEGY
5.6 RESULTS OF THE QUALITATIVE INTERVIEW DATA
5.7 SUMMARY OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESULTS
CHAPTER SIX  CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
6.3 IMPLICATIONS
6.4 RECOMMENDATIONS
6.5 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
6.6 CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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