The Republic of South Sudan validates the National Unified TVET Policy

Minister of Labour, Hon. James Hoth Mai addressing participants at the validation of the South Sudan National Unified TVET Policy © UNESCO

In South Sudan, more than 30-line ministries and government institutions are mandated to implement Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in addition to the development partners, private and faith-based training centers. In absence of formal governance mechanisms and instruments, each institution and ministries have been having their own policy or strategy to work on TVET that often-created challenges to standardize curriculum, setting-up qualification framework, nationally recognize certification of learning, and accreditation of non-formal or self-learning skills acquired by people.

In this context, with a backstopping support from the education and labour committees of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), a National TVET Ad-hoc Coordination Committee and its sub-committees were formed under the leadership of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) together with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) in late 2019 participated by 23 members from relevant ministries, private sectors, and NGOs. With technical support from UNESCO, series of capacity building and consultation workshops were taken place in 2020 and 2021 at the national and state level to draft a National Unified TVET Policy that could meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Finally, the National Unified TVET Policy is validated on 2nd November 2021 in presence of the State Ministers and Director Generals from the state Ministry of General Education and Instruction, and the Director Generals of the state Ministry of Labour in addition to all relevant national ministries, members of Revitalized – Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) representing Education and Labour committees, UN agencies and development partners including donor community.

During the event, Mr. Julius Banda, Head of UNESCO Office and UNESCO Representative to South Sudan congratulated the government’s leadership and collaboration of line-ministries that brought together all stakeholders to develop and validate the National Unified TVET Policy. He further emphasized on the importance for all ministries to continue working together to endorse and implement this policy. Since TVET is a kind of toolbox for the development of the country, it is critical that all youth have equally access to it. This requires investment from the government and development partners to re-open the closed TVET centers and make them functional in all states.  

In her remarks, Ms. Yeno Suzan Lemi, Representative of the Embassy of Sweden, committed on continuity of support to South Sudan for strengthening education system including TVET in the country and urged the government for paying adequate salary to teachers regularly for quality and sustainability of the education. She further said that it is very much encouraging seeing majority of government institutions together and wanting to have a coordinated and collaborative approach to strengthen TVET in South Sudan. “I believe that if we join hands together, we will have better solutions to what we want to achieve in this country” she said.

Honourable Martin Tako Moyi, Deputy Minister, Ministry of General Education and Instruction, stated that the national ministries are the policymakers, but the state ministries are the real implementers of this policy. It is important that the states make sure that their needs are addressed through the policy and it is fully owned by the states for its implementation once endorsed by the Parliament.

In his remarks, Hon’ble James Hoth Mai, Minister of Labour emphasized on re-opening of TVET schools and vocational training centers that can allow the illiterate or out of school youth a second chance to gain skills and join the labour market. He also expressed ministry’s commitment to strengthen and expand access to vocational training throughout the country working together with the development partners.

Hon’ble Ahmed Mohammad Musa, a representative of the R-TNLA and member of the education committee, in his closing remarks informed that the TVET had already taken a big space in the latest speech of the Rt. Hon’ble Vice-President. He further stressed that the states and national ministers need to allocate indicative budget for TVET, and the parliament is ready to advocate for its endorsement.

The National Unified TVET Policy envisions a skilled, empowered, self-confident, reliant, employable and creative individuals for South Sudan labour market and beyond. It is mainly addressing four aspects of TVET: 1) Governance and Management, 2) Improved Access and Equity, 3) Enhancing Quality and Relevance, and 4) Innovative and Sustainable Financing. Following a plenary discussion, the policy was validated by the stakeholders.

In addition, during the opening session of the event, an assessment report on Education and Labour- related Management Information System (MIS) 2020 and the TVET COVID 19 Response Plan 2020 were also officially launched. 

This partnership programme is implemented under UNESCO Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme with financial support from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Dubai Cares.

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