…will be piloted in seven schools near existing TTIs and zorigchusum institutes 

Younten Tshedup | Gelephu

With the completion of the competency based learning material (CBLM) for technical and vocational education and training (TVET), TVET curriculum will begin as an optional subject for class IX starting this academic year.

The curriculum will be implemented in seven pilot schools – Bayling, Rangjung, Chumey and Punakha Central Schools, Khuruthang and Babesa Middle Secondary Schools, and Bajothang Higher Secondary School.

The new TVET programme would be available for students besides other optional subjects like economics, agriculture for food security and environmental science.

Unit head with the vocational and commercial studies unit of the Royal Education Council (REC), Kinley Namgyal, said that by 2021, the subject would be introduced for class X.

“We are currently developing CBLM for classes XI and XII, which would be implemented in 2022 and 2023 respectively,” he said. “While we already have a curriculum in place, the CBLM is a tool for teachers and students to implement the curriculum.”

He explained that the new TVET curriculum is different from the vocational programme that was implemented since 2011 in selected schools.

Following a study carried out in 2014, it was recommended that the curriculum be reformed. “The previous curriculum was tailor-made and only those components that were deemed important for the students were incorporated.”

In the new curriculum, courses are being offered in line with the National Certificate (NC)-II and NC-III levels, meaning that major components of the two levels would be taught to students should one opt the subject.

The new curriculum would also have a credit transfer system.

The benefits of the reforms according to Kinely Namgyal is that students wishing to pursue vocational training from class X or XII would not have to undergo similar basic trainings as their fresh counterparts when they join the technical training institutes (TTIs).

“This enables the students to complete the training faster than other fresh candidates because they have already learned most of the components of the course.”

Today, a regular class X or XII joining TTIs would have to undergo two years of training to get a NC-II level credential. However, should one opt the TVET subject from class IX, by the end of class XII, he/she would spend 864 hours (36 days) in total, besides studying the regular subjects.

Kinely Namgyal said that when vocational programme was first offered as an optional subject, the number of students opting for the course were not encouraging.

To generate interest in TVET among students and to encourage them to pursue the course, vocational clubs and pre-vocational orientation programmes for classes IV to VIII would also be introduced in the seven pilot schools.

“These programmes would entice our children to choose TVET as an optional subject and we expect the students to take interest and embrace TVET when they reach class IX.”

In the wake of the growing youth unemployment, Kinley Namgyal said that the new TVET curriculum is an attempt to generate an understanding and interest in the vocational field.

“The lack of skills among jobseekers, which is one of the main reasons for unemployment among youth today should be addressed should this programme be successful.”