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TVET and Sustainable Development: Introduction
The UN Decade from 2005
The General Assembly of the United Nations, on 20 December 2002, proclaimed the 10-year period beginning on 1 January 2005 as the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (resolution 57/254).
The Assembly designated the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as lead agency for promotion of the Decade, asking it to develop a draft international implementation scheme, clarifying the Decade’s relationship with such existing educational processes as the Dakar Framework for Action adopted at the World Education Forum in 2000 and the United Nations Literacy Decade.
What is Sustainable Development?
The concept of Sustainable Development combines three principal aspects:
TVET for Sustainable Development
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is a most effective means for society to develop its members’ potentials to respond to the challenges of the future. Schools and other institutions of the formal education system alone cannot achieve education and training for sustainable development.
Learning for work, citizenship and a sustainable future is a joint responsibility of education, of the world of work, and of a variety of stakeholders in the formal and informal socio-economic environment.
At UNESCO’s Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 1999, participants unanimously stated that “… social and economic trends predicate the need for a new development paradigm which holds a culture of peace and environmentally sound sustainable development as its central features.
Accordingly the values, attitudes, policies and practices of TVE must have their foundations in this paradigm …”
UNESCO is currently taking stock of the progress made in TVET since 1999. UNESCO will provide a forum for critical review and assessment. At an Expert Meeting in Bonn, Germany, from 25 to 28 October 2004, approaches and practices will be presented to illustrate the contribution that TVET can make towards a more sustainable future.
In order to ensure a meaningful contribution of TVET to economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development and to the quality of life, the education and training components of relevant areas will be addressed, such as:
The integration of sustainable development issues into TVET impacts on various levels such as:
Mobilizing the Global TVET Community
A conceptualisation of TVET for Sustainable Development must not be narrow and mono-dimensional. This is also true for education for sustainable development (ESD) in a broader sense:
“… while there will be overall agreement on “What is ESD?”, there will be nuanced differences according to local contexts, priorities and approaches.
This is a critical point. It means that there will be no single “right” definition of ESD … ”
Promoting Quality Education. UNESCO document 166 EX/INF.6
The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre will mobilise the UNEVOC Network and the global TVET community, in order to come up with a broad range of ideas and concepts for the contribution that TVET can make to sustainable development.
Global Knowledge Sharing
Facilitating access to knowledge is crucial for reducing the gaps between developing and industrialised countries. Therefore, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre will facilitate the development of an international information system and network on issues of TVET for sustainable development. This will be developed and maintained in close cooperation with national and international partners.
This international information system and network would constitute the resource base for the implementation of an Action Plan to contribute to the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development in the area of TVET.
Ultimately, barriers to transfer and application of knowledge on sustainable development will be removed.
Within this framework, a culture of global knowledge sharing will be promoted, thus fostering the social dimension of sustainable development.
Information and Documentation
Not much information and documentation on TVET for sustainable development is currently available.
The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre will gradually present such materials as well as sources of further information on this website, easily accessible via the link: www.unevoc.unesco.org/sustainable
The global TVET community is invited to provide relevant information and documentation that might enrich the resources available at that website, and to stimulate research, development and action worldwide.
Currently there are no consistent, internationally comparable indicators and statistics on TVET that would facilitate the monitoring of progress made by countries with respect to sustainable development. The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre will work with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and other partners on such issues as:
UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research were the major hosts of the Expert Meeting held in Bonn in October 2004. Other local partners included the German Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) and the German Commission for UNESCO.
For further information, please contact R.Maclean@unevoc.unesco.org