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TVET schools open doors to Afghanistan’s apprentices in cooperation deal supported by Germany

in Afghan Business

TVET schools open doors to Afghanistan’s apprentices in cooperation deal supported by Germany

This week, a new agreement set to modernize Afghanistan’s Oustad-Shagerdi or traditional apprenticeship system was signed between Assif Nang, Deputy Minister of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Hassan Sepahi, Chairman of the Federation of Afghan Crafts and Trade (FACT), and Gustav Reier, Director of the Afghan-German Cooperation TVET Programme.

In 2015, up to 1,500 Shagerdis working in small enterprises or workshops will be able to attend TVET institutes to get acquire the basic theoretical background of their profession and get access to advanced technologies. This is the modernization the entire informal training sector needs. In this first phase, six schools in Kabul and one school in Mazar-e Sharif will take on apprentices from four fields: Auto mechanics, carpentry, electrical repairs and metalwork.

As Asif Nang said about the closing of the new deal, “From now on, the gates of the TVET institutes are open for students from the Oustad-Shagerdi system. We want to modernize the traditional apprenticeship system for all occupations. Afghanistan’s economic self-sufficiency depends on this measure.”

Hassan Sepahi added, “The informal sector is ready to fulfill the needs of today’s job market. Small companies are an untouched treasure, and we have waited decades for this opportunity. Apprentices and trainees can now learn in schools, and small enterprises can identify training needs for TVET schools.”

Gustav Reier concluded, “The parallels between Afghanistan’s Oustad-Shagerdi and Germany’s apprenticeship system are astounding. This form of cooperation between TVET schools and FACT guilds represents a breakthrough to a modern on-the-job training system with companies and TVET schools as learning establishments. Today is the day Afghanistan opened the gates to a modern vocational education system.”

The new agreement creates new opportunities for Shagerdis to earn proper certified qualifications. Once the Shagerdis pass their vocational training, they will receive both theoretical and a practical certification and can train to be qualified Oustads. Oustads from the businesses participating in the program will receive training in coaching, mentoring, health, safety & security and extra qualifications.

The agreement was signed during a conference held in Kabul on the potential of the Oustad-Shagerdi (or apprenticeship) system in Afghanistan. More than 360 people attended, from government, the international donor community, stakeholders, public education directors, guild representatives.

Besides providing funding for the conference, Germany will also finance and support various measures required by the agreement, including construction and renovation of schools, investments in equipment for schools, Oustad training and further qualification and development of the technical curriculum.

In close cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Education, the TVET program financed by the German Government promotes technical and vocational education and training in Afghanistan by establishing a sustainable, formal vocational school system. The goal is to help as many young Afghans as possible acquire skills that will improve their chances of finding a job and earning a regular income.

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