August 2022 ATUPA Annual International Conference on:
"Repositioning TVET Education Ecosystem in Light of COVID19 through Heritage Based Education"
Dates : Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2022 | Venue: Elephant Hills Resort – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (ATUPA), was born out of a resolution of the General Assembly of Heads of Member Institutions of the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) taken on 29th of August 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. This decision was ratified by the Ministers of Education from AU member states at the Third Ordinary Session of the Specialized Committee on Education, Science and Technology (STC – EST III) on December 13, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African Union’s STC – EST III resolved to “TAKE NOTE of the rebranding of the CAPA to the Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (ATUPA), and to encourage Technical Universities and Polytechnics in their countries to join this continental Association”. The mandate of the pan- African Association is to support professional and skill development amongst its membership mostly drawn from TVET institutions in Africa. In order to stimulate exchanges of experience and ideas, the Association regularly organizes and provides forums for discussion of matters of common interests amongst members and the TVET stakeholders. Due to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, ATUPA held her 2021 annual conference in a hybrid format with most speakers and participants connecting to the forum virtually. At the General Assembly of Heads of Member Institutions held on the 31st of August 2021, the members unanimously granted the Republic of Zimbabwe the hosting rights for the 2022 annual conference. The theme of the conference is “Repositioning TVET Education Ecosystem in Light of COVID 19 through Heritage Based Education”. The outcomes of the conference shall go beyond the repeated formulation of ideas and the rhetoric that has been heard over the years to providing pragmatic strategies and guidelines, even at the policy level.
REPOSITIONING TVET EDUCATION ECOSYSTEM
Governments are increasingly introducing, adapting and adopting the philosophy of “heritage based education” as the anchor of innovation and as a way of promoting agriculture for industrialization and driving economic development. The African Union, UNESCO, the European Union, and the United Nations acknowledge that formal educational systems alone cannot respond adequately to rapid and constant social, technological, and economic change in society and that they should be reinforced by non-formal educational practices. Heritage learning is a process that aims to establish relationships with features belonging to the culture of a particular society. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays an important role in the coping phase, intermediate phase and any post-COVID19 phase. As the TVET curriculum is majorly practical based, it becomes difficult for TVET institutions to cope with such disruptions as visited by the COVID 19 containment measures. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reposition TVET with new approaches and solutions to the challenges facing the continent, chief of them being the high unemployment amongst the youth. As the rate of technological change accelerate, Africa finds itself at the mercy of technological giants with little or no role to play. Africa has become mere consumers of these technologies. There is need for TVET teaching and learning to go beyond the binary approach. A more complex, inclusive, nuanced view incorporating multiple factors, including epistemology, ontology, and heritage based educational philosophies are required. Furthermore, andragogies, platforms, contexts, practices, research, innovation and, industrialisation should be synthesised to reposition Africa TVET ecosystem to address national needs while applying indigenous knowledge systems to local challenges. Africa cannot manage or improve its circumstances if we do not control and measure our outputs. A well-constructed, structured and fully adopted research, innovation and industrialisation barometer and policy for Africa, would guide the continent to support the right research, technologies and innovation by the right people, in the right places, and for the right reasons. This is why ATUPA has seen it fitting for its 2022 annual international conference to have discussions and presentations of researched conference papers on the theme “Repositioning TVET Education Ecosystem in light of COVID 19 through Heritage Based Education”