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Competence Based Education and Training Approach
The basis and concept of demand driven Training
The Vocational Education and Training (VET) Act of 1994, which established the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), directs that VET should be demand driven. It specifically stipulates this in the following objectives and functions of VETA:
1. To satisfy the demands of the labour market for employees with trade skills in order to improve production and productivity of the economy;
2. To ensure that the system of vocational education and training is based on demand
3. To promote and provide vocational education and training according to needs, within the framework of overall national socio-economic development plans and policies;
4. To promote the balancing of supply and demand for skilled labour in both wage - employment and for skills needed for self- employment in rural and urban areas;
5. To promote and provide short tailor-made course programmes and in-service training in order to improve the performance of both quality and productivity of the national economy.
This is the basis of demand driven VET as stipulated by the legal framework establishing VETA. The Act directs VETA to ensure provision of demand driven VET that adequately meets the needs of the labour market.
Implementation of demand driven training implies the use of industry or work-based standards or curriculum in order for training to be assessed as having conformed to demand. In 1998 VETA adopted the Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) system, which involves the development and use of industry-based standards in training.
Demand Driven Training
As part of its efforts to ensure provision of demand driven training, VETA has introduced the CBET approach. It is a standards-based training system whereby trainees are required to demonstrate attainment of pre-determined levels of competence under given conditions in order to be judged as having successfully completed training. Typically, in a standards or competence-based training system achievement of specified proficiency of performance is the most important thing. Time needed to achieve it is not important. Under CBET, learning is learner or trainee centred as opposed to being time focused and teacher centred, and as such learning progresses at the pace of the learner. CBET may be described as a training system providing performance solutions. In the CBET system learning standards are developed based on functional analysis. Since the standards are based on occupations and more specifically on units within occupations, they are often referred to as occupational unit standards.
Occupation Unit Standards (OUS)
Occupational Unit Standards can be defined as Occupational requirements one has to fulfill in order to be called competent. For every task, there is a level of performance expected by the industry. The training program must determine what the standard is and use it to guide the instruction.
An example in Motor Vehicle Mechanics occupation. A task such as repairing tires (tubes and tubeless) the standard becomes tires mended without leakage. Thus when trainees are able to mend the tires without leakage then they have mastered the task i.e. they are competent.
OUS serve the purpose of:
i. Providing employers, employees, and job seekers with a common understanding of what is required for a particular employment in the labour market.
ii. Improving the International competitiveness of the economy
iii. Creating uniformity in the training outputs.
iv. improving quality of the products.
The processes of developing standards follow after the DACUM development whereby the duties and task have been described. Again it is the expert workers who are the most appropriate to develop the standards. The identified duties are then categorized into three levels depending on the nature of the occupation . So there are 70 Occupations developed.
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