MTHE, NCTVA & Partners Conclude 2nd Edition of NQF Workshop

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The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE), National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA and other lines departments and agencies have concluded Part 2 of the national qualifications’ framework workshop. The three-day sessions which commenced on Wednesday 22nd May, 2024 ended on Friday, 24th May, 2024 at the Foreign Service Academy conference hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown.

A qualifications framework systemically describes qualifications of an education system by classifying them to different competence levels on the basis of learning outcomes. Each individual level makes it visible what the holder of a qualification knows, understands and is able to do. The NQF is like a plan of such a building with levels one to 10 for learning. It stipulates standards for qualifications and part-qualifications. Apart from qualifications and part-qualifications, other information is also registered and recorded on the NQF. It is like a map or guide that enables learners to chart their education and training path.

For example, schooling in South Africa begins under the umbrella of General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-Framework or what is better known as Basic Education. At the end of Grade 9, a learner can either take the vocational route and go to a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College or remain within the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub Framework and read towards a National Senior Certificate at NQF Level 4.

One of the reasons for establishing the NQF was to facilitate movement of learners within education, training and career paths. In other words, the NQF was established in part to enable the connection between qualifications to allow for movement of learners through the formal education and training system and its linkages with the world of work. With the NQF, learners should be able to move within and across Sub-Frameworks from the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-Framework to the Higher Educations Qualifications Sub-Framework or across to the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework and vice versa.

Sierra Leone’s higher education institutions face challenges shared by many other countries: limited financing and staff training opportunities and a lack of quality management systems. This has created a situation where university course content is misaligned with the needs of students and the job market. Employers find that graduates lack the skills and knowledge needed in the workplace.The Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone (AQHEd-SL) partnership brought together higher education institutions (HEls), the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and employers across Sierra Leone to work towards improving graduate qualifications and employability.

The focus of the project was to improve HEls’ capacity to offer quality education through outcome-based, student-centred learning that meets new quality standards. Several fruitful deliberations took place during the 3-day activity and among other things, standardized policies would now be implemented in making sure that a stable qualifications’ framework is arranged at both national and continental levels and in the best interest of all and sundry.

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