Vocational Education and Training (VET), is a key driver for Iraq’s economic development and a key player in addressing the very challenges that Iraq is facing such as unemployment and poverty. Vocational Education (VE) increases the competitiveness of the graduates of the system by providing quality education to young people preparing them for wage and self-employment. For this reason, it is crucial to continually assess the performance of the sector and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, ensuring that the sector is compatible with international and national quality standards and norms.
VE is a key component of the Iraqi Public Sector Modernization programme (IPSM), a programme that is implemented by UNESCO in partnership with the Government of Iraq. Within this framework, a 2 day workshop was held from 17 to 19 February in Baghdad.
The workshop was attended by several key stakeholders from the VE sub sector including, Dr. Tareq Jassem Al Ani, Reporter for the TVET Coordination Committee and Advisor at the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission (PMAC), Dr. Dyaa Kazem, Head of vocational supervision department at the Directorate General of Vocational Education along with principals of five vocational schools from Baghdad and Najaf and participants from the Directorate General of Vocational Education.
Participants together with UNESCO consultants discussed the findings of the work on the self-assessment of vocational education schools which was the subject of a study developed by UNESCO and two previous workshops held in Baghdad and Beirut. A questionnaire including assessment indicators was finalized in the workshop and will be provided to the contributing schools for feedback in a pilot assessment.
“Vocational Education is a key element for solving pressing issues in Iraq’s weak economy that often results in unemployment and poverty” said Axel Plathe, Director of UNESCO Office for Iraq.
Mr Plathe also praised the progress achieved so far that has resulted in the development of a general framework to reform the structure of the General Directorate of Vocational Education.
On this occasion, Mr Plathe took the opportunity to announce the launch of a UNESCO project aimed at reforming the technical and vocational education and training sector in Iraq, which he mentioned will also provide increased support to Iraq's TVET system. The new project is funded by the European Union for 12,300,000 euros and will be implemented over a period of three years.
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