This article focuses on the perception gaps between teachers and students of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) related to garment production and the reasons behind such gaps. Garment production is the priority sector for the Ethiopian government, which plans to make it the driver of export-oriented growth. At the same time, it is among the programs that demonstrate the lowest employment rates.
A questionnaire was developed by the authors. It was completed by 162 students and 53 teachers in garment-related programs of seven TVET colleges in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
The findings show that while teachers tend to highlight the importance of practical skills, students desire broader coverage of practical and managerial skills and entrepreneurship. The expectations differ not only based on the person's recognition of labor market conditions but also by the conviction of the efficacy of the education and training system itself. Teachers tend to be persistent on conventional approaches of teaching, while the advanced training on new approaches based on the competency-based training (CBT) significantly impacts on their attitude. Meanwhile, students' perceptions are largely based on their job aspirations and motivations for schooling.
The authors’ findings may serve to improve the relevance of the Ethiopian Occupation Standards.
The unique feature of this study is that the authors measure skills from multiple dimensions. While the authors examine participants' perceptions of occupation-specific skills, they also analyze the relationships of these perceptions with attitudinal and cognitive skills.
Funding: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science 15H05142, United Nations University Grant for Global Sustainability 2017-2019.
Yamada, S. and Otchia, C.S. (2021), "Perception gaps on employable skills between technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teachers and students: the case of the garment sector in Ethiopia", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 199-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-08-2019-0105
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