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International seminar on Certification of Learning Attainments of Refugees and Internally Displaced Pupils Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning Madhu.

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Presentation on theme: "International seminar on Certification of Learning Attainments of Refugees and Internally Displaced Pupils Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning Madhu."— Presentation transcript:

1 International seminar on Certification of Learning Attainments of Refugees and Internally Displaced Pupils Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning Madhu Singh (UIL)

2 UIL: Studies and programmes underway  UIL Synthesis Report 2005 – 50 countries – international  ADEA Biennale 2008 – focus Africa  Two International meetings (2005, 2007) – focus Africa  Advocacy Report  Interagency – OECD, EU, ADEA. ETF, VOX, UNESCO  Pilot projects on RPL in Mauritius and Namibia.  Futuristíc, work-in progress

3 Wider socio-economic climate and bigger policy discourses  Renewed interest in all sub-sectors, including non- formal learning and adult and community education  Policy debate focuses on basic education and post- basic education  Countries lack frameworks for comprehensive human capital formation and lifelong learning  NQFs are seen as a way to reform education systems

4 Key issues limited pathways between education sectors. transitions from non-formal to formal programs are difficult growing number of dropouts Tenuous links between TVET and general and higher education and vice versa Qualifications/certificates are irrelevant and do not reflect learning goals and achievements. Adults and out-of-school young people lack access to recognition systems and procedures in order to reenter the system of further education and training

5 Other problems  Wide variety of non-formal programmes unsustainable because they are not linked to the formal qualifications system;  Fragmentation of provision, and existence of different levels existing alongside one another  Uncoordinated mechanisms of quality assurance, certification and standards,  Limited qualifications and career routes  Existing systems of qualifications have been primarily used by elites and racist regimes (for training soldiers –El Salvadore).  Certificates awarded are not equivalent to the certificates and qualifications in the formal system.

6 Lifelong and life-wide learning NQF RPL

7 Three groups of countries can be categorized 1. Countries with/or in the process of establishing explicit NQFs (SA, Namibia, Mauritius,(Partial frameworks, Namibian, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Gambia, 2. Countries without NQF but with certification activities that follow the formal national curricula; 3. Ad hoc activities that give a „second chance“ opportunity to reenter the formal education system or achieve an equivalent certificate.

8 New understanding of qualifications is significant for RPL and lifelong learning First: Qualifications are provided on the basis of obtaining or proving competencies or ‘expected learning outcomes’ by a set of agreed standards or criteria. This means that learning can take place irrespective of the site. This is advantageous for persons outside the formal system Second: NQFs not only accredit non-formal and informal learning but also facilitate transfer that learning to a further stage and promote integration into the formal system Third: NQFs entail developing new qualifications (e.g. in the area of care service, tourism industry, refugee work)

9 NQFS Legal structures (SA, Namibia, Mauritius) National bodies ( developing standards SA, in East Africa it is only Uganda that has a Vocational qualifications framework; Tanzania and Kenya have national examination bodies Scope: NQFs unify qualification levels in schools, VET and the higher education sector and also integrate RPL; so you have a single hierarchy. 8 level framework(SA) - 10 level framework (Namibia) 7 level framework (Ghana – for qualifications recognized for employment and further education)

10 Cross-national and Regional Frameworks  meta- frameworks/regional accreditation bodies  harmonize and standardize qualifications in order to produce workforce with comparable and competitive knowledge, skills and competencies.  SADCQF (Southern African Development Community)  EQF has eight reference levels spanning all education and training acquired at the end of compulsory education, including non-formal and informal learning. The framework helps to describe a person's qualification in terms of learning achievement.  EU Common guiding principles on validation of non-formal and informal learning (making visible ; respecting privacy; well-defined standards ; impartiality and credibility, and legitimacy.  Indian Ocean countries – review of assessment practice

11 NQFs promote lifelong learning  Offer Second chance to continue into further education and training  Facilitate bridges between formal, non-formal and informal education and training  Enhance mobility of learners  Vertical articulation  Equivalence  Improve accessibility and flexibility ((modular courses, easy exit and entry systems)  Greater scope for recognition of RPL  Clear and transparent reference for individuals to plan to start, or move to different learning and career paths.

12 NQFs  NQF concept has been criticized  Application in a nascent stage  Partial frameworks/comprehensive frameworks blocks  Weak and strong frameworks  Benchmarking international models  In most African countries NQs and related mechanism are either missing or fledgling if present. There is a huge gap between policy and practice.  Regional qualifications frameworks are a step in the right direction (South African Development Community (SADC) region; Indian Ocean Countries; but countries need to first learn from experience of introducing national frameworks.

13 Lifelong learning Vertical linkages relates to linking different levels of education as well as connecting various developmental stages of learners. Horizontal integration refers to the linking of learning to life spheres and activities of community, family, school, workplace and other social organizations. It also involves the task of linking different types of education – formal, non-formal and informal.

14 Lifelong learning Vertical linkages relates to linking different levels of education as well as connecting various developmental stages of learners. Horizontal integration refers to the linking of learning to life spheres and activities of community, family, school, workplace and other social organizations. It also involves the task of linking different types of education – formal, non-formal and informal. The concept of LLL recognizes that outcomes from different settings can be linked together regardless of the institutional settting in which they are acquired. NFE, FE and IL are not different types of learning but different contexts of learning

15 Lifelong learning includes both Experiential Learning and prior learning RPL or Prior experiential learning emphasize the importance of validation, defined as the process of identifying, assessing and recognizing a wider range of skills and competencies which people develop through their lives in different contexts (Colardyn & Bjørnavåld 2004). What is at stake is what counts as valid knowledge and learning rather than the site of the knowledge production and learning alone.

16 Contextualisation Outcome based thinking in which generic skills are promoted is not a realistic unless these skills are contextualized Life skills (health, peace in foreign language teaching General capabilities in vocational training Social skills learned in the family, household work, community and voluntary work could be made use of in the workplace

17 Learning from International Practice: Definition of Terms Some networks  The Leonardo Network (VPL)  Cedefop model of Identification and validation of non-formal and informal learning  OECD RNFIL (Recognition of Non-formal and informal learning  UIL: (Recognition, validation and accreditation of Nonformal and informal learning.

18 The Valuation of prior learning (VPL) (Leonardo Network VPL 2005 The Valuation of Prior Learning Model varies from context to context, the aim is to make visible what has been learned and to create reflexivity in learning; using the assessment records for better access to the labour-market and the improvement of self-esteem, e.g. after long-term unemployment or family work. Assessment records are also used for access to formal learning procedures within the national vocational education and training

19 The CEDEFOP model of Identification and Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning CEDEFOP has developed the Common European Principles. They include purposes of validation, individual entitlements, responsibilities of institutions and stakeholders, confidence and trust, impartiality, credibility and legitimacy. In 2003, the CEDEFOP established the Virtual Community on the Identification and Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning. CEDEFOP has also produced the European Inventory on Validation of non-formal and informal learning in 2005. (CEDEFOP 2005).

20 Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): Canada  PLA is a process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of learning acquired through formal and informal study. This may include work and life experience, training, independent study, volunteering, travel, hobbies and family experiences. The recognition of prior learning can be used toward the requirement of an academic or training programme, occupational/ professional certification or for employment/labour market entry purposes.

21 Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) USA  APL is a generic term used for the award of credit on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred at some time in the past. This learning may have come about as the result of a course, or self- directed study, or as the result of experience either at work or in leisure pursuits. APL is an umbrella term and includes APEL and APCL.

22 Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) UK  APEL is a process that enables people of all ages, backgrounds an attitudes to receive formal recognition of individual skills and knowledge they already possess

23 Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) UK  APCL is a process, through which previously assessed and certificated learning is considered as appropriate, recognised for academic purposes. It is developed either for individual claims for certified learning or for credit transfer.

24 How RPL can be used? Scottish Qualifications Framework Scottish QF: RPLcan be undertaken by a learners for personal and career development ; to support the transition between informal and formal learning; or for gaining credit ( for entry to and/or credit within formal programmes of study). RPL for personal/career development focuses on formative recognition (supporting a continuing learning process through identifying a learning pathway). Formative recognition may result in a mapping, or a notional leveling, of an individual’s learning within the context of the SCQF as part of an educational guidance or personal development planning process. RPL for supporting transition, or for gaining credit, focuses on summative recognition. Summative recognition involves a formal assessment of prior learning as part of the credit rating process of that course of study. This can only take place within the context of clearly defined quality assurance mechanisms and by SCQF credit rating bodies.

25 Process of RPL  It is important to ensure that the learner clearly understands the process, and possible outcomes. All RPL processes contain an element of reflection and identification of the learning which can be related to  a set of core or subject-specific skills or national occupational standards within a community-based learning or workplace training context (for recognition for personal/career development) or:  the core learning skills required to successfully undertake a programme of formal learning (for bridging to support the transition between informal and formal learning) or:  the entry requirements to a formal programme of study ( for recognition for entry to a formal programme:  the outcomes of a formal learning programme or qualification (for recognition for credit within a programme or towards a full qualification

26 Core Principles different approaches to RPL to meet the needs and goals of individual learners. These should be Learner-focused (voluntary; learner needs paramount) Accessible (initial information and advice; easy to understand ; embedded in institutional programme design, rather than add on or marginal activity flexible (address the diversity of learner needs reliability, transparency and consistency (managing RPL processes for ensuring trust clarity of role definition of learner, providers and management staff. Quality assured: standards of notional levelling should be consistently applied

27 Key features of RPL initial guidance supporting learners in the reflective process, identifying learning through experience (skills, knowledge and understanding) selecting and presenting evidence of that learning ; identifying areas for further learning Mechanisms for gathering and presenting evidence of learning Recognition process for RPL claims (a) notional levelling which may be undertaken by comparing the outcome of learning to the SCQF level descriptors; core skills or National Occupational Standards. (b) The recognition process for RPL for Credit involves a formal assessment of learning which involves determining: the comparability of learning to either the (i) entry level requirements of a programme (ii) for credit against particular units/modules (iii) for a part of a level of a programme for general or specific credit; (iv) for an entire level of a programme or qualification. Credit limits for RPL within formal programmes of study must be made explicit

28 Outcomes of RPL These may be for Persona/Career Development (formative recognition) Recognition by self, and by other (peers, colleagues, employer, community) of the value of strengths and skills gained through prior learning A more supported transition from an informal to a formal learning context in a college; approved centre or university as part of a Bridging process. a mapping or notional levelling of an individual’s learning within the context of the national qualification system in order to help identity possible progression routes Planning of individual learning pathway, personal/career development plan; or personal learning plan which will build on this learning in order to achieve goals. Preparation of RPL claims for either general credit or for specific credit to gain entry to, or credit within, a formal programme of study or qualification

29 Outcomes of RPL Credit (Summative Recognition) resulting in: Gaining entry to the first level of a programme at a college Gaining of General Credit Gaining of Specific Credit (credit for particular modules)

30 Facilitators and assessors The advisor or facilitator will communicate to the learner  the different options that can be offered to him/her after conducting a pre-assessment.  Provide assistance to learners in presenting evidence in coherent and systematic manner and in preparing for assessment.  Translate the discourse of candidates everyday or work environment into the learning discourse.

31 Facilitators and assessors  The assessor is a subject specialist  Involved in the preparation of the candidate’s claim.  decides whether the assessment will be through written work, practical or oral presentation  reviews whether the applicant whlly or partially meets the certification requirements.  checks the evidence (relevant, sufficient, authentic, reliable within the context.

32 International practice France (Validation des acquis de l’expérience)  3yrs of experience in work, enlarged to experience in non-paid activity or voluntary work  The jury makes a decision on a portfolio put together by the candidate, eventually followed by an interview (obligatory for a diploma related to higher learning), or, in some case based on real-life situations or simulated ones  If the jury does not give the full qualification, it draws up a statement about the nature of knowledge and skills, which could serve as a basis for a supplementary learning programme followed by an examination.

33 Assessment German ProfilPASS/lifelong learning passport self-exploration – accompanied by professional counselling, combined with traditional methods of assessment. Strengths should be made visible in order to motivate and to “wake up” what people have learnt from their different experiences throughout the life-span, to describe their experience and to identify the respective competence elements (Preisser 2005).

34 Assessment Sweden targets persons with limited experience in Swedish working life.The assessment takes place at the working place and is validated by certified counsellors. In the case of Migrants, a distinction is made between informally acquired learning has to be validated and prior learning that has taken place in formal educational systems in their home countries. There is a discussion of how the relation between experience and language skills could be balanced, if a fair assessment is to be reached. Participants need to be able to express and explain what they know.

35 Norway has different assessment procedures within the Competence Reform for different education levels and settings.  Higher education Mostly assessment in an ad hoc manner  Upper Secondary Education dialogue-based method and assessment of portfolio  Vocational “testing” Interview and showing practice  Non-formal Education Charting/documenting (self-assessment on bases of a glossary  Working life. To get to know which competencies can be identified, various work tasks from a day at work are noted by using a description of occupation as a reference. This can be written down for example in a web-based scheme for documentation of competence freely available on the internet. Which includes a statement of competence; professional skill competence; personal and social competences; leadership/managerial competences.

36  In the Netherlands  EVC centre was financed to develop prior learning assessment for secondary education, higher education and vocational education sector. In 2005 work of the national centre focused on quality assurance and the evaluation of assessment procedures. The only data available reflects the very beginning of the initiatives, stating that in 2001 the universities of professional education were ahead of the regular universities in developing procedures for the recognition of informally acquired skills.

37 Assessment principles  continuing development of the individual; transparency of the process; (France, Belgium, Norway)  utilize all learning environments for RPL (individual, society, organisation, branch).  Accessibility; Right to assessment open to all – self- exploration in relation to own interests and possibilities.  The separation of the functions of training and assessment and a good guidance during assessment offer the best chance for an independent assessment;  low-threshold provisions for upgrading the population in general (Portugal)  Industry driven (UK)

38 Examples of three pilot projects on RPL  Maurtitius : purpose is linked to helping workers made redundant from the sugar industry to find access in the country‘s tourism industry  Namibia: facilitate the access to its distance edcuation certificate couares an alternative courses in primary and secondary edcuation.  South Africa: is used for accessing higher education by non-traditional students and adults.

39 RPL- NQFs  Certificate equivalent to certificate of the formal education system (external examinations)  Certificate not equivalent to certificate of the formal education system (language courses, driving licence etc.)  No certificate but portfolios and individual skills assessment.

40 Institution-based reforms Accreditation processes stimulate a great amount of supplementary learning such as bridges, preparatory studies and access courses  Making a difference to the learning standard that is certificated.  Increase flexible transitions between sectors and learning environments  Interlock general, political, cultural and vocational education  Reinforce cooperation between education policy, employment policy, labour market and other fields in order to improve employability and personal development  Programmes link qualifications to social effect – i.e. development outcomes, (personal, organisation, occupational and social);  Active engagment of a wide group of stakeholders.

41 Institution-led reforms at the secondary school level 1. Promoting school-vocational-work transitions pupils are helped to get a school certificate through socio-pedagogical support or remedial programmes work orientation programmes Prevocational training: Youth without school certificates are offered programmes including one year internship in a company, they get a better chance to go for further training in the vocational training system Work search programmes - ends with certificates. Many now sit for upper secondary examinations. Bachelor programmes include small and medium enterprise and business studies.

42 secondary school level 1. Diversifying secondary education: the problem here is that many work skills are not formally certified because assessment criteria and procedures do not exist and new standards have not been created. 2. There is growth in competency-based standards, however there is lack of understanding on how to contextualise generic skills at the curriculum and institutional levels.

43 New learning sites  ABET and FET are not only providing opportunities for further learning, but also effectively linking with the world of work through learnerships and apprenticeships that lead to partial or full qualifications

44 TVET 1.School-based technical and vocational education (that help potential dropouts to complete secondary school) 2.Publicly provided vocational centres and institutes that develop strong links with industry ; 3.Alternative pre-employment programmes for school dropouts and young people without qualification: These are second chance programmes for young people who drop out without qualification. It is essential to have NQFs for these programmes if they are to be accreditated and quality assured so that they are linked to the labour market, lead to better employment outcomes

45 Workforce development 1. Developing new qualifications and standards 2. from skills development to skills recognition and certification in the informal economy 3. Recognizing the educational value of Traditional apprenticeships, by certifying them and integrating them into formal qualification systems.

46 Links between TVET and Higher education 1. Work-based learning 2. Credit transfers from VET to higher education

47 Links between TVET and Higher education 1. Work-based learning 2. Credit transfers from VET to higher education

48 Broadening the social base of Higher Education 1. Certified professional courses for in- service training of teachers (South Africa) 2. Programmes that build RPL into qualification requirements for access to higher education (South Africa)

49  In conclusion, new models and strategies need to be developed to cover all young people who drop out of school without any qualifications.  School-based initiatives need to promote completion of primary and secondary school for young people and adults through bridge programmes and alternative paths that are linked to vocational training and enterprise based training.  Vocational training, both school-based and publicly provided vocational training in centres and institutes should in integrated into active occupation oriented programmes..  Workforce Development Programmes should help the poor to make the transition to work through protective discrimination in public sector or in enterprises.

50 Challenges and Prospects What learning should be validated, for whom, by who and for what purpose should be made crucial to lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is not without its problematic aspects – continued to support to haves. Ways need to be found to Integrate experiential and RPL into existing qualification requirements Situation studies are important – how many pupils dropout without receiving a certificate, what happens to them in terms of progression to further learning and transition to work? Potential dropouts should be helped to complete a school certificate

51 Challenges and Prospects Professionalize the identification, documentation and making visible of non- formal and informal learning outcomes. Facilitators and assessors have to become professionals in how learning outcome descriptions relate to the step to identify equivalence Process models need to become more sophisticated, such as documentary proof, guidance counseling, quality assurance.

52 1. NQFs need to be perceived as “enabling” and mapping rather than overly prescriptive frameworks. 2. Cost of RPL must not be overlooked 3. RPL is not only for accrediting but for valuing the worth of what people know. 4. Practical ways of knowing need to be complemented by theoretical knowledge and vice versa. 5. Teachers needs to be involved in the debates about recognition of non-formal and informal learning.

53 Standard setting  Standards should not be oriented to formal school criteria only  Standards should be oriented to criteria and references drawn from work, culture and society.  Standards are not a substitute for learner- oriented educational work; they must try to help to extend participants’ possibilities of success.  Holistic competencies, in contrast to certificates are more difficult to grasp.

54  Outcome based frameworks need to be related to institutional provision, including curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment.  Recognize resistance to RPL and experiential learning – fear deinstitutionalisation of knowledge creation activities.

55  Questions like the following ones will have to be re- answered regularly:  Who should decide how a learning outcome is valued and who eventually should set the standards we use for assessment?  How to bridge and to link different learning systems and learning outcomes?  Can lifelong (and life wide) learning be realised, as long as different validation systems (formal and non- formal) are unable to communicate with each other and fail to mutually recognise each other?


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