The situation of technical and vocational education varies widely across sub-Saharan countries. Delivery systems are diverse, combining school-based provision with various non-formal training arrangements. Unfortunately, this diversity is also associated with glaring disparities. Differences in historical, political, cultural and economic contexts largely account for such variations in structures, operating conditions and outcomes.
Nevertheless, emerging common trends can be identified. In addition to the specific crisis affecting most training systems in sub-Saharan Africa, globalization, associated with the rise of a market-oriented paradigm in education, has shaped the different reform processes along similar lines. A shift in the policy focus from inputs to outputs, the use of new financing and certification mechanisms, the involvement of social partners in governance, greater autonomy for institutions, the promotion of private providers and company-based training are part of this new approach. In addition, the specific socioeconomic conditions of African economies have generated an increasing interest in the informal sector and skills development for poverty reduction.
This book examines these policy trends and the reconstruction of training systems. An attempt is made to document the relationship between training systems and donor intervention, with special reference to French-speaking African countries and France. Particular attention is also focused on innovations in an effort to identify promising initiatives likely to contribute to the establishment of consistent technical and vocational education systems, closely linked with the world of work and involving labour market stakeholders.