ERG SES D 12, Vocational Education
This paper reports on Côte d’Ivoire’s vocational education system in the context of its African, Francophone history and culture. This study on Cote d’Ivoire is part of a larger research project commissioned by Education International (which is the international federation of teacher education unions) to explore the role of vocational education in providing a social justice response to issues of educational access in various jurisdictions. The broader project tests whether the productive capabilities framework retains enough shared characteristics in different contexts to support an evaluation of vocational education and training in varying contexts. This is being tested by exploring the potential application of productive capabilities in four very different countries: Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, England and Taiwan. These in turn will be compared with desktop studies of Argentina, Ethiopia, and Germany to broaden the types of countries studied and to include a country with what is widely acknowledged as a distinctively strong vocational education and training system.
This report’s data focuses on Cote d’Ivoire’s educational access for youth and marginalized groups such as women and individuals with disability, and on the impact of the privatization of vocational education. West African countries like Côte d’Ivoire have experienced a civil war which has impacted the country’s economy, labour markets and education system. The disruptions in education as a result of the war could have implications for students on an international scale who have fled their home countries in hopes of gaining better access to education. This paper examines the Ivoirian education context through the capabilities lens. It analyses the political and social circumstances in which French vocational education prepares Ivoirians to make decisions about their livelihood. This case study aims to investigate the following research questions:
- How does education accessibility/inaccessibility lead to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in francophone vocational education programs in Côte d’Ivoire?
- What kinds of changes need to be made to broaden the scope of inclusion into these programs?
- Are there lessons to be learned for other Francophone European systems from this inquiry?
Examining the relevance of vocational education in the daily lives of Ivoirian youth, this case study provides an overview of vocational education institutions in Cote d’Ivoire. These institutions aim to equip youth with access to education in transferrable skills required in everyday life as well as in employment opportunities within the informal economy (Dabalen & Paul, 2014; Normand & Pasquier-Doumer, 2014). Using the productive capabilities approach, this paper explains vocational education’s effectiveness in a Francophone context and highlights implications on European education systems, particularly those influenced by Francophone traditions.
This project views vocational education from the lens of Sen’s (1999) and Nussbaum’s (2000) capabilities approach. The notion of a ‘productive capabilities’ framework is used in this paper to address vocational education in Côte d’Ivoire. Productive capabilities broaden vocational education's policy and practice from a human capital approach that focuses on the inclusion of graduates with specific (but variable) knowledge, skills and attributes, to considering how workplaces' resourcing and organisation affect the productivity of graduates' knowledge, skills and attributes and how vocational education can help students to live lives they have reason to value. This benefits individuals in their field of practice as well as in their families and communities (Author, 2015; Author, 2016). We suggest that productive capabilities result from 3 factors: the goods and/or services that the workplace aims to produce; the workplace’s resources such as workers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes; and how the workplace’s resources are organized.
This research on Cote d’Ivoire uses case study methodology, including secondary analysis of published statistics from UNESCO 2017, World Bank 2017 and the Central Intelligence Agency 2017, a review of academic articles to support empirical findings, surveys of teachers, union members, education support workers and education administrators of vocational education programs, and interviews with vocational education and training officials, leading teachers and other workers. The survey has been translated into French and is being piloted prior to its distribution in Côte d’Ivoire to ensure it yields useful results. The survey will be administered in the first part of 2018, and so the results will be first reported at the ECER conference. The objective of the survey is to provide vocational education leaders and administrators with the opportunity to share their opinions on the quality of the vocational education in Cote d’Ivoire. In addition to surveys, we are also conducting in-person interviews in French to allow participants to share their personal experiences and opinions. The findings from Cote d’Ivoire are being compared with the findings from the other case study countries and are being analyzed in light of their impact on vocational education and their connection with productive capabilities.
This study shows that there is a lack of public vocational education programs in Cote d’Ivoire due to the limited monetary investment in this sector in the aftermath of the civil war and from the enduring socio-economic challenges of the country. The north and south divide has limited the mobilization of vocation education, restricting its accessibility to areas where conflict is limited (Dabalen & Paul, 2014). Due to shared funding between the ministries of education and labour, and due to challenges of poverty in the country, the Ivoirian education system is unable to provide sufficient funding for its youth (Akoojee, 2016; Fortune et al., 2015; Lolwana, 2017). A result of limited public institutions is the exclusion of students aspiring to pursue further studies. Privatization of vocational education programs has increased, which fosters an elitist system that weakens public education and the economy (Oketch, 2007; Document de diagnostic d’orientation stratégique, 2016). Many students are enrolled in public primary education, but drop out rates increase for secondary and tertiary level education. This is in part due to the inaccessibility and cost of secondary education (Akoojee, 2016; Oketch, 2007; UNESCO, 2017). The team expects to complete all of its survey and fieldwork on Cote d’Ivoire in time to report to ECER 2018. Our research provides analyses on the insights of teachers, union members, education support workers and education administrators of vocational education in the country. It also provides insight on changes within the labour market to support and include marginalized groups in the participation of vocational education. The implications of this study are to fill gaps in research in francophone education accessibility and to provide an understanding of how vocational education systems in Côte d’Ivoire resemble and differ from those in European countries and other jurisdictions.
African Development Bank, OECD. https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/30727906-EN-COTEDIVOIRE-AEO2008.PDF Akoojee, S. (2016). Private TVET in Africa: Understanding the Context and Managing Alternative Forms Creatively. Journal of Technical Education and Training, Vol. 8, No. 2, 38-51. Author. (2015). Author. (2016). Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2017) World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ Dabalen, A. & Paul, S. (2014). Estimating the Effects of Conflict on Education in Cote D’Ivoire. The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 50, No. 12, 1631–1646, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2014.959501. Document de diagnostic d’orientation stratégique, (2016). Réforme de l’enseignement technique et de la formation professionnel 2016-2025. Le ministère de l’enseignement technique et de la formation professionnel, 1-107. Fortune, F., Ismail, O., & Stephen, M. (2015). Rethinking Youth, Livelihoods, and Fragility in West Africa: One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Fragility, Violence, and Conflict Group, World Bank, Washington, DC. Lolwana, P./Oketch, M. (2017). Introduction Keynotes: Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa: the missing middle in post-school education/Cross-country comparison of TVET systems, practices and policies, and employability of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Vocational Education and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa. 11-38, Bielefeld 2017. DOI: 10.3278/6004570w011. Nordman, J. & Pasquier-Doumer, L. (2014). Vocational education, on-the-job training, and the labour market integration of young workers in urban West Africa. L, Prospects, Vol. 44, 445-462, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-014-9320-3. Nussbaum, Martha C (2000) Women and human development: the capabilities approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. OECD (2017) Key Issues affecting Youth in Côte d'Ivoire. Retrieved from: http://www.oecd.org/countries/cotedivoire/youth-issues-in-cote-ivoire.htm Oketch, M. (2007). To vocationalise or not to vocationalise? Perspectives on current trends and issues in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Africa. International Journal of Education Development, Vol. 27, 220-234, doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2006.07.004. Sen, Amartya (1999) Development as freedom. New York: Anchor Books. United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2017a) UNESCO Institute of Statistics UIS profile, http://en.unesco.org/countries United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2017b) UNESCO Institute for Statistics data on education, http://data.uis.unesco.org/ Wheelahan, L., & Moodie, G. (2016). Global Trends in TVET: A framework for social justice. Brussels: Education International. World Bank Group (2017) Indicators, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator?tab=all UNESCO 2017. Retrieved on October 1, 2017 from UNESCO website for Cote d’Ivoire: http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/ci?theme=education-and-literacy
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