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Crossing the River by Touching the Stones: Alternative Approaches in Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea
ADB 2022.01.28 원문보기
Economic diversification requires a critical mass of skilled technicians in respective fields, where technical and vocational education and training (TVET) plays an instrumental role. Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many Asian countries and regions, including South Asia, had shown remarkable economic growth. This economic diversification supported by a skilled workforce would be important for quick economic recovery and sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, during the pandemic, international travel restrictions were imposed, and the governments in respective countries realized that developing and maintaining a minimum number of skilled labor such as utility repair technicians and skilled construction workers is important from the national security point of view. Governments have high expectations on TVET for employment, economic recovery, and national security, but TVET faces challenges such as social stigma, shortage of skilled instructors, and insufficient industry partnership in developing Asia. Knowledge transfer from successful TVET models in Asia could inspire policy makers to think outside the box. The building blocks of TVET are well known but mostly based upon successful cases in Europe, such as Germany’s dual training programs. While there is a lot to learn from successful TVET history and practices in Europe, different TVET pathways exist in East Asia such as in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of Korea. This publication is titled “Crossing the River by Touching the Stones,” which is a metaphor for steadily exploring the next course of action that is often used by leaders in the PRC in describing paths for their economic reform. Many good practices are available, and policy makers are encouraged to look for suitable approaches before taking next policy reforms. The East Asian good practices, however, are not necessarily well understood, and this publication aims to close the knowledge gap. In particular, this publication comes up with seven relevant policy questions based on common approaches taken for TVET reform, and which show alternative pathways taken by the PRC and the Republic of Korea. This publication reconfirms that there is no “one-size-fits-all” for TVET, and policy makers in Asia are expected to be motivated to explore different TVET models, and come up with new ways of TVET delivery that best suit their own country context.
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