Presentation of Swiss Research Partnership Projects
Swiss Universities for Applied Sciences and Swisscontact
A development promotion program backed by SDC
Vocational Training in Kyrgyzstan: Project in the Wood Sector goes new ways
Vocational education in the Kyrgyz wood sector is not satisfactory nowadays. The education in the wood-processing sector is not adapted to the markets request and in the forestry sector there is no education for the practical tasks. For that reason the Kyrgyz-Swiss Forestry Support Program KIRFOR set up the project 06.3 Promotion of the Vocational Training in Forestry and Timber processing. It started with his operational part at the beginning of 2001 with the setting up of a working group. Training start of the first apprentices is expected in September 2002
Start with the project implementation
The Project Promotion of the Vocational Training in Forestry and Timber processing started with its implementation phase at the beginning of 2001. The project approach is based on an analysis elaborated last year in the timber-processing sector and on a huge number of experiences in the forestry sector. The main goal of the project is to improve the vocational education for carpenters and joiners and to install a new, practically orientated education for foresters. For the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MoLSP) the project wants to generate experiences for the improvement of Vocational Education and show new ways to achieve this goal. For that reason, the project has a pilot status, which gives it the necessary liberty to try new systems and methods. Three schools will be chosen to implement the project.
In February 2001 there was installed a working group for the project implementation, which includes all stakeholders of the project: Representatives of the Department for Vocational Education and Training (DVET), Agrarnaja Akademia, Director of professional school, Goslesagenstvo, Director of a wood processing enterprise, forest ranger, Master for timber processing and representatives of LES-IC. As an external member also the Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood Industry (SWOOD) supports the work of the group. SWOOD is responsible for the fundraising in Switzerland, which is a difficult and time-consuming task. Two Junior Experts from Switzerland support the working group.
Main innovations for Vocational Education
In a first step, the working group elaborated a timescale for the project implementation, which foresees the start of the first course in September 2002. One of the biggest tasks up to now was the development of a framework for the new education in form of a concept. This concept defines all factors of influence such as job profiles, share of practical and theoretical education, financing, selection and training of teachers, etc.
During the elaboration process the working group had to solve many questions. The most important innovations compared to the common system are the following:
- Close collaboration with the customers of the education i.e. entrepreneurs and forest rangers. They are included in the working group, for the elaboration of the job profiles there have been carried out several seminars with entrepreneurs and forest rangers.
- 70-80% practical education. The practical training is split up in two parts: Traineeship in the leshoze respectively in the enterprise and practical training in the schools workshop. This high share of practical training guarantees a customer-oriented education.
- 2.5-3 years professional education (beside the general education). Experiences in different countries show, that a training period of only several month is too short to get sufficient skills for a competent workman.
- The course is held by thematically modules with duration of one to three months. This system allows in a second phase also the further education of workman from the practice together with the students.
Sustainable financing system
One of the main problems of todays Vocational education in Kyrgyzstan is the financing. The government is not able to take over the whole costs, which is visible in the lack of raw material, visual demonstration materials, etc.
Therefore the project wants to split up the costs to the different stakeholders. Government has to continue paying the part paid nowadays, enterprises take part on the financing through making available places for traineeships and students accept low wages during the traineeship. Furthermore products, which are manufactured in the school workshops, will be sold.
Private Swiss sponsors will carry the investment costs; a collaboration with Asian Develop Bank (ADB) is achieved.
Further way to reach the goal
To allow the start of the first course in September 2002, there still is a huge work to do. Next steps in the project are the selection of five project schools, searching of teachers, training of teachers and masters, elaboration of the curricula, and the management of training places for students in enterprises.
Schweiz. Hochschule für Holzwirtschaft, SH-Holz