Wetenschap - 11 juli 1996

More assistance for vocational training in Africa

More assistance for vocational training in Africa

In recent years formal technical and vocational education in Africa has received little support from national and international development cooperation. Skilled labourers and a well educated middle management are essential to the industrial sector, for improving agricultural production and sustaining a reasonable basic health care system, according to NOMDA (Netherlands Organisation for Manpower Development Assistance). The Platform for Vocational Training and Development Cooperation was established by NOMDA in March this year to support and improve technical and vocational training in Africa.

The importance of education as a stimulus to development is increasingly acknowledged by African governments and funding agencies in the North. It is widely acknowledged that the structural adjustment programmes of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have had a devastating impact on educational systems in African countries. At present however, attention and assistance mainly flows towards primary and university education.

The platform aims at establishing similar cooperation programmes between Dutch and African vocational education institutes. The first priority of the platform is to stimulate the counterpart institutes in the South to assess their needs. Two African countries will be selected initially.

Up to now Platform participants include Dutch institutes for vocational and technical training, the Ministries for Development Cooperation and Education, and Development Assistance Organisations. NOMDA will act as the secretariat of the platform for the first year.

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