Yangchen C Rinzin

The Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) reforms which are part of the government’s overhauling of the sector will be ready by June, according to Labour Secretary Sonam Wangchuk.

The interim TVET reform office with the Prime Minister’s Office returned the TVET programme to the labour and human resources ministry to implement the reform after almost two years.

The government in 2019 initiated TVET reforms, and the PMO took over the TVET programme from the ministry.

Although the secretary did not mention the TVET programme being handed back, he said that it aims to transform the TVET system into attractive learning and career choice.

The ministry prepared the deployment of the master trainers in February.

Sonam Wangchuk said that master trainers would be provided in fields like timber frame construction and building insulation, landscape design and management, and building painting.

“We should also be able to start the TVET reform initiatives by April like introducing 79 courses, which will be relevant to the local economy and emerging needs of the economy,” he said. “The initiatives will also include course allocation to the training providers, course development, and refine TVET pathway.”

The secretary said that by June the plan for the reform would complete and prepare a structural master plan for technical training institutes and institute of zorig chusum, assess additional infrastructure and facility required to roll out new courses.

The secretary said that the reform initiative would deliver TVET programmes that are designed to adequately equip Bhutanese youth with 21st-century skills and competencies. “It’ll develop and nurture a pool of committed, motivating, inspiring, and qualified TVET leaders.”

A task force in the ministry has been formed to implement the TVET reform. “Depending on the government’s directives and approval, it will be implemented,” the secretary said.

The secretary also requested the government to integrate the TVET reform in the 12th Plan.

In the Annual Performance Agreement 2021-2022, the ministry targets to place 2,055 individuals for skilling technical training institutes under the build Bhutan project. This is to enhance increased and equitable access to TVET.

The ministry also targets to have about 25 master trainers engaged in the critical areas of TVET to support the reforms. “This will improve the quality and relevance of TVET,” the secretary said.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that since TVET reform was already approved, the ministry should not wait for formal approval. “Approval is just a formality. Don’t wait till July. All these plans are components of reform so, don’t wait for separate approval.”