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Managing the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in TVET

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving digitalization in the worlds of work and education. It is reshaping labour markets and placing new demands on education systems, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Digitalization is not a new trend, but the pandemic has sharply increased the demand for digital skills. How we manage the challenges and opportunities of this digital transformation can make a real difference to how well the world emerges from this crisis. To support TVET institutions in harnessing these opportunities, a key component of UNESCO-UNEVOC’S COVID-19 project – Strengthening the Responsiveness, Agility and Resilience of TVET Institutions for the Post-COVID-19 Era – will focus on building the digital competencies of TVET staff.

Moving to online teaching and learning

During the first wave of COVID-19 and the subsequent school closures, UNESCO reports that half of students had no access to a household computer and 43% had no internet. In sub-Saharan Africa, 89% had no access to a computer and 82% no internet access. This startling digital divide emphasizes the urgent need for mitigating measures to ensure the most vulnerable populations are not left behind.

Even in countries with reliable ICT infrastructure and household connectivity, the transition to online learning has been challenging. The abrupt move to delivering education online revealed that while some TVET institutions were ready for this new way of teaching and learning, many others, often in the Global South, were not. Millions of TVET teachers lacked the digital skills to teach remotely and struggled to deliver curricula which had been designed for face-to-face teaching.

In response to these issues, upgrading digital skills will be a major focus of UNESCO-UNEVOC’s COVID-19 response project. This effort kicks off in March when UNEVOC Centres from Jamaica, Kenya, the Maldives, Nigeria and Peru will start a three-month training programme to build the digital capacities of TVET staff. This training targets not only teachers, but also management and ICT staff, and caters to their specific institutional needs in developing or implementing digital services. Following a baseline analysis and goal setting, and taking into account identified needs and interests, topics covered include digital learning environments and tools, content creation, pedagogy as well as data protection and management.

To complement the training programme, UNESCO-UNEVOC is launching a three-part webinar series to examine the main challenges of digitalization in TVET. Through this set of tailored activities, the project will ensure that digitalization becomes a key enabler of quality TVET for all, rather than a barrier to progress.

Webinar series

Webinar 1

Digital Competence and the Future of Work – Pathways for TVET Institutions
18 March 2021, 9:00 - 10:30 CET

Concept note | Synthesis report

Video in English | French

Webinar 2

Social Aspects of Digital Learning in TVET
22 April 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CEST

Concept note | Synthesis report

Video in English | French | Spanish

Webinar 3

Navigating the Maze of Digital Tools and Services
20 May 2021, 10:00 - 11:30 CEST

Concept note| Synthesis report

Video in English| French | Spanish

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