Brief Introduction to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Recognizing and accepting the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and its role in the growth and development of the national economy is the first essential step towards opening the doors of these educational services to those who currently do not have access to them.

In most cases, a strong inclination towards pursuing general higher education leads to unrealistic expectations among parents, resulting in high pressure on students in schools.
Recent analyses of TVET experiences at the regional level show that if TVET is well-designed and formalized, it is much more useful and effective than general higher education in terms of attracting and accommodating marginalized groups such as women and youth in the job market and improving their income.

(OECD, 2018) In Afghanistan, like many countries in the region, the greatest gap or disparity in human resource development is seen in technical and vocational skills, and one of the important challenges for the newly established TVET management is changing the public perception of these educational services by highlighting their importance and creating added value.
This added value for students includes improving employability skills, and for the country, it encompasses growth in skills and abilities, leading to economic development.
According to national decisions, three types of technical and vocational education and training programs in the sector must be integrated and led by an independent authority.

These three types of programs are:

  1. Formal Technical and Vocational Education (Formal TVET):

Provided by schools and institutes with official documents. Currently, these schools and institutes are managed in 34 provinces of Afghanistan, covering 255 districts.

There are four types of educational programs offered in these schools and institutes, including:

  • Special education programs (classes 1-12)
  • Two-year programs (classes 13-14).
  • Three-year programs (classes 10-12).
  • Five-year programs (classes 10-14).

The total number of government and private students in these four programs is 68,202 individuals.

  1. Non-Formal Technical and Vocational Education (Non-Formal TVET):

This program is mostly provided by other government ministries and departments (about 11 ministries) and consists of skill training courses that are from 3 to 12 months.

For example, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs provides this program through 42 government institutes and about 350 private institutes.

  1. In-Formal Technical and Vocational Education (In-Formal TVET) includes the market and private-sector apprenticeship system. Most of this group consists of these apprentices who are in the job market.

With the decision to centralize the TVET sector in the year 1397 H.S. the TVET management was established by the President's decree. The previous designation of TVET was separated from the Ministry of Education to become an independent institution responsible for all the country's technical, vocational, and literacy education.

This government decision demonstrates the increasing importance of these educational services in aligning with the national growth agenda and addressing the needs of unemployed and unskilled youth in the country.

This move also placed new responsibilities on the TVET management, including coordinating and regulating the technical and vocational education and training sector.