02 SES 13 B, Policy Developments In VET: Comparitive Analyses
Parallel Paper Session
Educational tracking creates differences between pupils in terms of their labor market chances. (Mickelson 2003) While early tracking creates accumulated differences by the end of the primary school to such levels, that merit can no longer be fairly judged, late tracking will be unavoidable, and gaps between different school tracks will become significant. Fieldwork research on Roma youth with academic success (Kende, Neményi 2006; Abajo, Carrasco 2004), both in Hungary and in Spain, does not provide evidence that formal initial VET is an important factor for Roma/Gitanos in getting access to further education and better jobs. Stemming from this lack of evidence, we propose to carry out a comparative analysis between Hungary and Spain to see to what extent VET promotes educational and labour-market opportunities of the Roma population of these EU states.
Our paper argues that initial vocational education in Hungary is a form of late tracking in a society with high levels of inequality and within an education system where children by the time of secondary education, have a long history of formal and informal tracking and segregation. Although Spain, a Western European welfare state, disposes of a recently redesigned and apparently well functioning multi-layer VET system, VET can still act as a discriminating factor for the groups that occupy the most unfavorable socioeconomic positions, and hence can widen the gap between those who have not achieved compulsory school credentials and those who have.
The paper intents to draw attention to the dysfunction of different national traditions of vocational education and training that prove to have negatively affected Roma youth in many different ways. Cross-national comparison gives us a clue how different VET systems that respond to particular social and economic situations tend to remain of limited efficiency towards situations where exclusion from opportunity structures is produced by processes of institutional segregation.
Children at risk are most likely to be early selected for educational forms and institutions which lead to the dead end tracks of drop-out, lack of secondary education, remedial education or as a matter of fact, for the initial vocational tracks. As long as VET fits into this line, there is little hope that it can offer valuable education. Due to the recent wider access to university education the value gap between VET and other forms of secondary education has also widened. (Fehérvári, 2008) The most disadvantaged children are the most likely to attend vocational training, but in Hungary they are also the ones who live in regions with less variety of VET offers (Benke,2005) and with the higher shortage of labor opportunities. In Spain, those collectives that face more than average difficulties in labour market integration also have the lowest levels of training. (Homs 2009) While VET is difficult to access in the most needed regions in Hungary (Benke 2005), in Spain it is academic requirements that create barriers (Planas 2004) for the Roma youth to formal VET.
Abajo, J.E.; Carrasco S. (2004) Experiencias y trayectorias de éxito escolar de gitanas y gitanos en España. Encrucijadas sobre educación, género y cambio cultural. Madrid: Instituto de la Mujer (MTAS); CIDE (MEC) Benke, M (2005) A regionális és az ágazati tervezés kapcsolata a hátrányos helyzetû térségekben. Zárótanulmány. Budapest: Nemzeti Felnõttképzési Intézet Fehérvári, A.(2008) Szakképzés és lemorzsolódás. Budapest: Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő IntézetLugar de Publicacion Homs, O. (2009) Vocational training in Spain. Toward the knowledge society. Barcelona: ”la Caixa” Foundation Kende, A.; Neményi, M. (2006) Selection in Education: The Case of Roma Children in Hungary. Equal Opportunities International 25/7 Mickelson, Roslyn Arlin (2003) When Are Racial Disparities in Education the Result of Racial Discrimination? A Social Science Perspective. Teachers College Record 150/6 Planas, J. (2004) Vocational training in Spain: Changes in the model of skill production and in management modalities. Berufs- und Wirtschaftpädagogik Vol 7 (dec)
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