S15: Vocational Education


S15: Vocational Education

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Nepal has for long the GDP oriented development goal, primarily hoping for rapid economic development through large scale hydropower,infrastructure and industry projects to be built
on borrowed money from multinational agencies and borrowed expertise from multinational companies. Meanwhile Nepal’s own youth work in other countries helping to churn the GDP of those nations. Our success in bringing a GDP revolution has long been a matter of debate but where we have clearly failed is in unleashing the potential of our own natural and human endowments. Should we then start debating on how our education could be geared towards citizen engagement in continuous learning, elevating human productivity through training, and understanding the transformative potentials of its human and natural endowments? Could our education, training and scientific research be reorganized to unleash the fundamental potential of Nepal for the speedy advancement of its society and economy whilebeing in harmony with the nature? If yes, how? This symposium aims to find answers to these questions through a discourse among global Nepali scholars.

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Inclusive Skills Development in Times of Disruptive Change

Dr Sungsup Ra, Director, South Asia Human and Social Development Division, Asian Development Bank (ADB)


The world is undergoing unprecedented change and disruption arising from factors such as globalization, corona pandemic, ICT, growing use of robots and artificial intelligence. Such change has a major impact on the dynamics of labor markets and skills development. Developing countries need to bring skills development systems up to speed in the rapidly evolving context and address widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.  The presentation briefly analyzes challenges and opportunities in times of disruptive change and recommends rapid, integrated responses in the skills development system in Nepal.

Context-driven Entrepreneurial Education in Vocational Education & Trainings
Rajendra K. Khetan (Raj)

The prosperity of a country is closely associated with the productivity of its citizens, and productivity, in turn, can be enhanced by imparting knowledge and skills. Investment in Vocational Education and Training (VET) is therefore crucial to address the socio-economic challenges facing a country and help make it prosperous. Thus, vocational Education and training is offered throughout the world to students of various educational backgrounds and career aspirations in an effort to create a skilled workforce. The structure of VET varies greatly across different fields and countries with high-growth, low-growth, and transitional economies. However, a common critique of many vocational institutions is that they focus on skills training without addressing related business systems. Thus, students may not understand the business strategies related to their field, which limits job readiness and entrepreneurial potential. To counter this, a more context-driven and integrated entrepreneurial approach should be integrated in vocational education and training. An entrepreneurial mind-set adds value across business, social, government, and academic sectors by promoting innovative problem identification and value creation Applying various entrepreneurial skills has led directly to observable improvement in work quality and productivity in a range of fields. Such integrated entrepreneurial and vocational training would more suitably address context-specific market needs via both practical and transferrable skills, thus helping to reduce unemployment, particularly among youth in Nepal.

TVET for Global Competitiveness: Equipping 21st Century Skills

Dr Ramhari Lamichhane, Director General, Colombo Plan Staff College


Human resource development is the key element for the country’s development. There are different ways to develop human resources. Most common ways are literacy programs, school education, university education, technical and vocational education, recognition of prior learning, training and work experience. People enriches knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA) from these ways of learning. All types of learnings are important. However, the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is highly relevant to impart competencies for youth. TVET programs are well recognized by national system and society in the developed economy. But, it is struggling in the underdeveloped economy in both national system and social status.

While basic skills development and workforce preparation for the country are important in the Asia Pacific Region, a paradigm shift must take place recognizing that in order to be truly globally competitive, we must be globally competent. Educating young people to become global citizens will allow them to learn about the interdependence of the world’s systems, believe that solutions to global challenges are attainable, and feel morally compelled to confront global injustices and take responsible action to promote a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Global competency skills are necessary so that young people can invent a future that appropriately addresses global challenges. In line with other education program, TVET programs need paradigm shift to make our youth fit for global market with adequate competencies for global competitiveness.


A Promise at Risk: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nepal

Prof Mahesh Nath Parajuli, Kathmandu University School of Education

TVET in Nepal is often described as the supplier of the workforce for national development, a means for productive employment, an inclusion and equity measure, a strategy for individual enhancement, and many more.  Some data show growth is taking place in the sector – the number of students, programs, organizations, and activities are on the rise, and a policy hype is there.  But the other side of the story is different.  In this context, this paper tries to explain the gap between expectations and reality.  The paper draws mainly from some research works that were carried out under a comprehensive multi-country research study that has the overarching research question of “under what conditions can TVET improve the income of the youth?” and some other research and study reports.  The research findings show that TVET actually could never be a priority area in Nepal – neither from the government nor from the public.  Government investment in the sector has remained stagnant or has even decreased during the period of 2007/08 and 2016/17 when seen in terms of the percentage of national budget allocations.  The linkage between the TVET and the employment sector, one of the pre-conditions for a successful TVET, is at a very low level showing the concerns over the relevance and quality of the programs offered.  It has been now five years that the country has adopted a federalized system with the three levels of governance – federal, provincial, and local.  Unfortunately, this has only created problems, confusion, and conflicts among multiple actors at different levels.  Such a situation is because so far the country has failed to carry out necessary preparations that would include, among others, institutional, financial, psychological, and cultural aspects, for this new form of governance.  Finally, the paper tries to answer the conditions under which the TVET could contribute as expected.

Youth Unemployment and Vocational Education in the Context of Nepal

Mr Yogendra Bahadur Shahi, Hon. Member of Karnali Provincial Planning Commission.

Nepal just crossed the stage of population dividend in 2015 with highest youth population in demographic history of Nepal.  Every year more than five hundred thousand youth are entering into labor market are basically unskilled. Huge number of youth in Nepal are in NEET (Neither for Education nor for Training). The dropout ratio in school is still higher. Total student enrollment in technical education is still low (five percent according to youth vision 2025).  Those young people often prefer to go India and abroad for employment. The country is still sending 74 percent unskilled, 24 percent semi-skilled and just 2 percent skilled labor in foreign labor market. Youth Vision 2025 had planned to reduced non-skill manpower to zero in ten year. Sending only skilled manpower abroad, our remittance will increase at least by 50 percent. There is positive development of reducing unskilled youth going abroad in Nepal but more progress is needed.

The limited vocational institutions such as in Jumla, Jiri etc established with Swiss assistance has generated a higher input-output ratio.

In developed countries polytecnical institutions were established more for industrial demands. But countries like Nepal it is also crucial for migrant workers and self employment. As so far for internal labour market, there is already labor demand in particular sectors such as bakers, plumbers, housekeeping, skilled construction workers etc.  So, the demand based vocational education is very crucial for Nepal.

Unemployment ratio among the graduates in Nepal is also higher particularly in general education. The employability of junior technician is impressive with above 90 percent whereas unemployment can be seen even among higher technicians such as doctors and engineers.

The government has extablished some vocational technical instutions with foreign help but not enough good institutions. Some afiliated private instituions are mosrooming with deteriorated quality but expensive. Thease are also not established with market analysis.

So, given the youth demography, labor market and industrail demand, self-employment target in failure situation of general education, the establishment of quality vocational institutions through government and private sectors is time demanded in Nepal.





Dr Usha Jha is member of National Planning Commission8. She comes from Mahottari district, Province 2. She has served as an Academician at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Rampur Chitwan from 1985 to 1995. She was deputed as the Campus Chief at the branch Campus, IAAS Sunder Bazar, Lamjung in 1995 and she worked there until 1998, completing her full tenure. From 1998 till today, she has been working as a development worker in different status.  As a development worker, she has experienced working with NGOs, INGOs, Donors, UN and also as an Executive member and the President of NANGAN (National NGOs network group against AIDs) which expanded her learning in different sectors of development from education, community economic empowerment, health, peace building, democracy /governance and could participate in grassroots and national level research, program design, program implementation, monitoring /evaluation, reporting and advocacy as and when needed. She could have a reach to more than 40 districts and she realizes that a lot needs to be done yet.  As a part of recognition, she was nominated as the member of National Development Council, Govt of Nepal, elected as the executive and the President of National NGOs network group against AIDs ( NANGAN) and served for 12 years, member of Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) of UN-Women, Think Tank member of Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare, Grant Management Committee Member of Project for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) funded by World Bank and Proposal Evaluator for Social Inclusion Research Fund under SNV. She also served as the national consultant to the group of international consultants for different project evaluation/report preparation in Nepal.



Dr Uttam Gaunlee is Associate Professor at Morgan State University, USA. His research interests include the community college, diaspora studies, interdisciplinary perspectives on education policy, global citizenship, and cross-cultural issues in international development and geopolitics. An associate professor in the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University, Dr. Gaulee is an advocate of community college as a vehicle for social progress and economic development in and beyond the U.S. He recently edited a volume on Global Adaptations of Community College Infrastructure. Dr. Gaulee has devoted two decades of his academic and professional life promoting solutions related to student success, workforce development, and institutional effectiveness. While serving in increasingly higher capacities of the Community College Futures Assembly and Bellwether College Consortium between 2013 and 2016, he collaborated with multiple national commissions and affiliated councils of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to evaluate and promote best practices among community colleges and hosted national policy summits on workforce development, reverse transfer, and talent pipeline management. A recipient of the Fulbright (2010) and Cross Award (2016) from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Dr. Gaulee is actively involved in promoting and developing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in various developing countries. Dr. Gaulee serves as president of the Society of Transnational Academic Researchers(STAR), which advances global social mobility through innovative research and progressive advocacy efforts. Recently, STAR network is contributing to the quality enhancement initiatives at universities in the Global South.

Dr Uma Pradhan is EC Research Fellow at University of Oxford, UK. Her research explores the issues of education inequality, education governance, public provisioning of education, and minority language education. She teaches on graduate programme on Modern South Asian Studies, and convenes the course ‘Education, state and society in South Asia’. She also contributes to the Core course in South Asia, History & Politics of South Asia, and Anthropology of South Asia. Uma received her PhD in Development Studies from University of Oxford. This doctoral thesis has been published by Cambridge University Press. She received the Dor Bahadur Bista prize 2015 and Nations and Nationalism prize 2018 for the articles based on this research. Prior to this, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Education Anthropology, Aarhus University, Copenhagen. Her research at Aarhus the ways in which social assistance for education, in its attempt to address inequalities faced by marginalised groups, shapes the relationship between state and citizens. This research is published as a special issue in South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies. She continues to develop papers on inequalities in education systems, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal, in peer-reviewed journals on education such as Compare: Journal of International and Comparative Education, Ethnography and Education, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia on Education as well as such area studies journals as, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, and interdisciplinary journals such as Nations and Nationalism. Before joining academia, Uma worked in the development sector for several years and consulted for UNICEF and World Bank.



Dr Sungsup Ra is Director, South Asia Human and Social Development Division, Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is also Chair of the Education Sector Group in ADB. As Director, he is overseeing a portfolio of $4 billion in the South Asia Region. As the Chair, he provides strategic leadership to the education sector group and coordinate the workplan of the sector group.

Mr. Ra has more than 20 years of development experience covering identification, processing, implementation, and assessment in education as well as other sectors including health, energy, water, transport, and agriculture. In addition to his regular work, he is currently leading ADB’s COVID-19 response in South Asia. Known as a strategic and innovative leader, he led high level policy dialogue with developing countries and significantly contributed to ADB’s recent expansion in education. He introduced new financing modalities such as results-based lending and multi-tranche financing facility at first in the education sector. He pushed the boundary of education beyond the traditional school education leading education projects to support cross sectoral issues such as food crisis, youth unemployment, digital transformation, clean energy, and road safety. He actively promotes the strategic use of EdTech to address learning deficit. He is actively involved in global education initiatives such as the International Financing Facility for Education and the Global High-tech Agricultural University Network.

As an author of over 50 publications, Mr. Ra regularly contributes to public debates in news media and conferences on current economic and human development issues. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Asia-Pacific Economy published by Routledge, United Kingdom and the correspondents’ board of Prospects, UNESCO’s Quarterly Review of Comparative Education. As a guest editor, he recently edited a special issue on Emerging Labor Markets of the Future of the International Journal of Training Research, Routledge.

Prior to ADB, Mr. Ra worked with public and private entities such as Samsung and Korean National Pension. He also taught at leading universities in Japan, Korea, and the United States such as International Christian University, Tokyo, Korea University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States.

Mr Rajendra Khetan  leads the Khetan Group, one of the oldest business-families in Nepal. He is the Chairman of Laxmi Bank and PrimeLife Insurance, and the President of Nepal Britain Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Everest Insurance  among others.He is also the Honorary Consul for Portugal to Nepal. He has received various awards from the Nepalese and Portugal government for his contributions to the society and his achievements. Khetan Group of companies deals with various manufacturing and service activities. Banking & Finance, Securities and Investment, Insurance & Reinsurance, Manufacturing of Beer & food snacks, Refilling & Marketing of LPG, Surface & Air transport, Real Estate, Telecommunications, Hydroelectricity, and other various Exports, Imports, Marketing & Distribution activities are undertaken by Khetan Group. Many world renowned companies like Carlsberg Intl of Denmark, Sanmiguel of Philippines’, Thai Presidents Food of Thailand, Habib Bank of Pakistan, Fuji & Tone of Japan, Bowrings of UK are associated with Khetan Group.


Dr Ramhari Lamichhane is the first Nepali and the 11th Director General of CPSC. He is also the concurrent President of Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC). He has 31 years of experience in TVET starting as an instructor up to becoming the CEO of Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) in Nepal. He served as Project Manager in ADB projects and Program Coordinator in Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) funded projects. He was a key member in formulating the TVET Policy of Nepal in 2007 and 2012.

He is a dynamic leader, certified project assessor, strategic planner, experienced project manager, TVET Institution Quality Assessor, TVET Expert, Business Plan Developer and a seasoned manager, attested by the awards received such as the Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu IV from the Late King Birendra Bira Bikram Shah Dev and Global Educational Leadership Award by the World Education Congress; scholarship from Ryutaro Hashimoto Foundation, Japan; and Humphrey Fellowship from Fullbright Foundation, USA.

He has presented papers in a number of international conferences and meetings on TVET. He has authored and co-authored publications on TVET in various thematic areas – accessibility, greening, entrepreneurship, financing, equality, and image building. Dr. Lamichhane earned his PhD and MPhil in Education Leadership from Kathmandu University in Nepal. He has a degree in Educational Administration, Planning and Policy from Peabody College/Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA. Similarly, he has a degree in Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Tribhuwan University, Nepal. He completed Advanced Certificate in Hospitality Management- AQS Level IV from Regency Hotel Shool, TAFE- South Australia.


Professor Mahesh Nath Parajuli is the Dean of the School of Education, Kathmandu University, Nepal. He has over 30 years of experience of working in education and development, mainly in the government ministry and in the academia. As the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Journal of Education and Research, a publication of Kathmandu University, School of Education, he has earned an international reputation for educational research. One of his foremost interest areas is studying education processes in relation to several other processes of the society. Specifically, his interest is in understanding how education interplays with other social processes like politics, economy, culture, etc. and how during such interplaying education contributes to or influences those processes and how education, in turn, is influenced by those processes. These understandings, he believes, very much contributes to social transformation process. He sees strong needs for reengineering the structure and design of the present form of schooling. This is mainly because schooling in many parts of the world, mainly in developing countries, has remained an external and standardized process. As a result, schooling across the world is basically the same, while societies and people are highly diverse. This is also because the present day schooling has ignored the Knowledge Heritage – locally developed  and practices of knowing and educating. Hence, there is a need to align schooling more with the local sociocultural context, make it more flexible and open, and make the learning process directly related to livelihood and other human needs of individual learner and of the society.

Mr Yogendra Bahadur Shahi is currently serving as Hon. Member of Karnali Provincial Planning Commission.  Mr. Shahi did MPhil in Regional Development from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in 2006. Mr. Shahi had worked as a Vice-president of World Federation of Democratic Youth in Budapest from 2007-11.  He worked as a coordinator to prepare Youth Vision 2025 and Youth Policy 2015 for the Government of Nepal. He worked as a Director and Coordinator of the Centre of Nepal Studies from 2012-15 in association with Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin in order to foster ideological debate among left and democratic political parties in Nepal. As a sideline, he has worked as a foreign relations and development expert for Former Prime Minister Hon Jhala Nath Khanal for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). He has a good expertise and long professional experiences in the development sectors and has international exposures as a speaker and paper presenter in dozens of countries. He has also published many articles and books on development and international relations for his credit.

Mr. Shahi is also former ICC Member of the NRNA from 2008-2010 while he was in Budapest to work for the WFDY. His other engagement is to work as a youth leader and politician, and engagement in different national and international forums and organizations.


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Date And Time

2020-10-09 @ 09:00 AM to
2020-10-09 @ 01:30 PM


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