In 2015, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education launched a policy for the level of Bachillerato Técnico (BT) which is upper secondary technical education. The realisation that the education system is not producing graduates with the skills needed to advance the government’s ambitions of transforming the country’s economic matrix, was at the core of this policy. This skills mismatch is an issue of both relevance (the supply of and demand for particular skills do not match) and quality (the supply does not meet employers’ expectations).
The energy sector – and the electric sector in particular – is a high priority in the government’s plans. It is of fundamental importance that the generation and transmission of energy in the productive sectors is increased, and that the quality of life of the Ecuadorian people is improved. Increased investment in this sector is expected to further boost the demand for skilled workers along the electricity system value chain.
In light of this, the Ministry of Education has identified the BT in electrical installations a key strategy. The challenge, however, is to ensure that the schools that offer this BT provide quality education and training in line with the needs of the labour market. Upgrading the technical and pedagogical competencies of the teachers in this BT is pivotal in addressing this challenge.
The programme improves the quality and relevance of the Bachillerato Técnico in electrical installations by linking schools and industry and upgrading the technical and pedagogical competencies of teachers.
- Ministry of Education
- Schneider Electric Ecuador S.A.
- Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI)
- District education officers – asesores
- 8 selected upper secondary technical schools that offer the BT in electrical installations
To upgrade the technical and pedagogical competencies of in-service technical teachers, VVOB has developed a model for teacher professional development and school-industry linkage that combines the following dimensions:
- Organising technical teachers of the BT electrical installations into professional learning communities (PLCs). These PLCs are coached by district-level pedagogical advisors (asesores) specialised in vocational pedagogy.
- Brokering knowledge partnerships with specialised companies and training providers – in this case: Schneider Electric and SENAI – in order to provide technical training to the BT teachers of a PLC.
- Upgrading the equipment of the participating BT schools, hence enabling the technical teachers to immediately apply their new competencies and provide quality training to their students.
To increase the cost-effectiveness of the approach, one of the modalities involves rotating equipment among participating BT schools and setting up a number of BT schools as antennas. The technical training is a recognised component of the career ladder for Ecuadorian BT teachers, which ties opportunities for promotion and pay rise to engagement in professionalisation.
To reach its goals, VVOB Ecuador develops the capacity of its education partners. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB Ecuador team, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.