Following the invitation of BIBB, representatives from partner institutions and VET experts from the Asia-Pacific region got together for the BIBB Asia-Pacific Networking Meeting 2017 in Nanjing, PR China from 19 to 20 October 2017. As last year, the event took place in the context of Education+, the first exhibition in China with a focus on vocational education organized by Messe Nanjing, a subsidiary of the German based Landesmesse Stuttgart.
Topics of this year's event were the qualification of training personnel, digitalisation and Greening TVET, which had been identified by the participants as focal points of interest at the regional partner meeting in 2016. In cooperation with Messe Nanjing, the Ministry of Culture of Baden-Württemberg and the Landesakademie Esslingen, the programme for the "Education+ Summit" had been developed in recent months along these lines of content.
During the two day event BIBB together with its German and international partners organised several panel discussions, presentations and interactive formats to discuss the role of VET for a sustainable social and economic development.
All in all, there was consensus on the German and Chinese sides that VET will also play an outstanding role in the future in bridging the gap between schools and companies. In the Chinese context of the "China 2025" strategy, VET is also seen as a driving force to accompany and promote changes in the world of work. However, at the same time the VET sector faces need for action to improve the quality of training provision and adapt to new demands. The participants placed particular emphasis on the role of teaching and training staff that has to familiarize with new developments and technologies and integrate them into training.
Prof. Jianli Jao, Director of the Future Education Research Centre at South China Normal University in Guangzhou, emphasised the challenges of ensuring the quality and effectiveness of digital teaching services such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), despite their popularity. He pointed out the need for a pedagogical conceptualisation of learning formats, e.g. by combining online and face-to-face learning (blended learning).
Likewise, BIBB expert Michael Härtel, Head of BIBB’s division “Digital Media, VET personnel and distance learning” stressed that media-pedagogical competences on the part of the training staff are increasingly indispensable in order to design training processes with the use of digital media in a targeted manner and to offer orientation in the handling of digital media. Online services, such as the BIBB website www.foraus.de document the possibilities of providing targeted and result-oriented support for the transformation processes associated with digital change in designing in-company training practice.
During an expert discussion entitled "Preparing VPET teachers with technology-enhanced learning and e-pedagogies", Dr. Ricky Ng, Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the Vocational Training Council Hong Kong, stressed the importance of a systematic service offer for the educational staff. Services should contain clear qualification modules and be tailored to the time capacities, in order to take away the feeling of overstraining on the part of the educational staff.
Prof. Dayue Fan, coordinator of the UNEVOC Center at Shenzhen Polytechnic, gave insights into the "Greening TVET and core challenges in China" concept of UNESCO-UNEVOC's "Greening TVET" concept and discussed the activities derived from it on a political and institutional level in China. In the discussion with other international representatives, it became clear that the sustainability aspect, especially in the political discourse, has already been well received in China and the Asia-Pacific region for several years. Despite this, however, there is still a lack of clear guidelines, not only in China, on how sustainability concepts can be anchored in VET.
The 2017 regional event brought together representatives from the following institutions:
The meeting aimed at providing a forum for exchange of country experiences and discussion of good practices as well as challenges faced in the development and reform of TVET in Asia-Pacific and beyond.
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