The development of agricultural and rural zones in Ecuador requires the talent and ability of skilled and qualified citizens willing to contribute to agricultural growth at family and community level.
Nevertheless, supporting the improvement of such competences is challenging, taking into account that proper learning trajectories are not often available outside of big cities. The heart of agricultural TVET must lay in real labour environments – often rural – and be linked directly with productive activities connected with classroom-acquired skills. In this context, it is essential that agricultural secondary TVET students can take advantage of their acquired competences and apply them in their own family-owned or community plots.
To be successful, these students should have access to resources and experienced experts that will provide proper training on the competences identified in the curriculum. Experiential learning methodologies should be provided. Students learn by doing, experiencing, watching, perceiving and feeling, and not by simply assimilating contents, thus making their learning trajectory real and contextualised.
The project improves the quality and relevance of learning processes in agricultural TVET secondary schools in the province of Esmeraldas, by linking education and productive organisations.
This VVOB/VECO Andino synergy project strengthened the skills development of TVET secondary students and cacao family/community producers in the province of Esmeraldas.
The project consisted of four major stages:
- Data collection of the intervention areas (Tachina and Quinindé TVET schools): number of students, teachers and administrative staff, existing facilities, types of entrepreneurial activities offered by the school, TVET course options, types of technical pedagogical training.
- Strengthening schools’ technical capacities in managing their educational production units (school-based projects in which students put into practice the theory they learnt in class).
- Provision of didactical support to make sure that what was being taught in classrooms met the learning objectives of the curriculum on fine aroma cacao production.
- Development of a guide for the technical management of schools’ educational project units in consultation with the schools’ community.