Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 3 (9), pp. 423-433, November 2013
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 280913867
Collaboration in the Integration of Academic and TVET through ODL and Industry: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities
Ignatius Isaac Dambudzo
Zimbabwe Open University, PO Box MP1119, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Email: idambudzo @ yahoo.co.uk
Literature has documented the value of collaboration in open distance education and training due to the challenges facing nations brought about by globalization, increased career changes by workers in their life time, expansion of Multinational Companies globally and technological changes. TVET has also been recognized as an effective process by which quality, up-to-date information literate and knowledgeable workers can be prepared, trained and retrained worldwide. TVET has been singled out as an avenue for the acquisition of practical skills and knowledge related to occupations in various sectors. Review of literature has detailed the advantages of integration and the challenges. Corporate bodies, as consumers of trained staff in search of increased productivity, individuals on their part are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of TVET to improve their employment prospects and future income, and governments have recognized the key role TVET plays in economic success. Thus, users, buyers and policy makers see open and distance learning (ODL) as a realistic way of extending TVET to a much wider public at least cost. The aim of the study was to review literature to find out opportunities, challenges, and factors and to make recommendations for the collaboration and integration of academic and TVET through ODL and industry. Document analysis was the method used to carry out the study. Relevant databases were searched for relevant information regarding collaboration and integration of academic and TVET through ODL and industry. Results indicated that collaboration and integration of academic and TVET through ODL and industry received support from users and buyers. This was because of the economic, social, political advantages derived from such an approach. Different models for implementation were suggested acknowledging the challenges associated with the strategy at country and regional levels. Success however, needed a supportive policy framework. Collaboration and integration were regarded as key to achieving strategic goals; namely, achieving equitable access to education for all the people, improve quality of education, efficient and effective management of resources. ODL and flexible learning were seen as fulfilling core values of accessibility, equity and inclusiveness in which education provision is planned and delivered with the needs and circumstances of learners in mind because lifelong education, personal development and skills development were regarded as basic human rights. SADC on its part has established a solid foundation for collaboration and integration through its Hwange Declaration of 2012. There was however, a need for pilot projects in every country before regional collaboration and integration could be implemented. The review recommended that integration be implemented at different levels of education using a variety of models for high schools, colleges and tertiary institutions. More research is required through field studies in education institutions and industry to establish the best way to plan and implement the initiative.
Keywords: Collaboration, Academic, Integration, Technical, Vocational, Training, ODL, Policy, Education, Globalization.