Component 1. Building the Foundation of a National Qualifications System
The purpose of this component is to enhance the institutional capacity for improving the relevance of TVET, higher education, and in-service training. This will be achieved by establishing the key building blocks of a national qualifications system that is well aligned with labor market demands. Those key building blocks are: Occupational Standards, Educational Standards and Curricula, and Qualifications Assessment and Certification.
Sub-component 1.1. Enhancement of occupational standards, including improvement of approval and updating processes
This Sub-component supports technical assistance and capacity building to expand the occupational standards to include economic sectors for which standards do not exist and/or for which standards do not correspond to changing labor market demands. The standards will address the needs of large firms and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The methodology for developing the occupational standards will be driven by the private sector and build on prior experience of the respective sector associations, the MHSD, and the World Bank’s Technical Vocational Education Modernization (TVEM) Project implemented by the MOES. The occupational standards will be expanded to cover all eight levels of competencies of occupations, ranging from technical vocational and professional, to management (see table below for description of the eight levels). The Sub-component will also establish a process for regular review and updating of occupational standards to ensure ongoing alignment with labor market fluctuations.
Sub-component 1.2. Development and implementation of a framework to review and update the educational curricula for technical and vocational education and higher education
This Sub-component builds on the achievements of the Technical and Vocation Education Modernization Project of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2011-2015) and support the continued modernization of educational and training standards and curriculum towards competency-based modular programs aligned with occupational standards. This project, with strong ownership and participation by the private sector, will build on prior good practice to expand it and cover additional programs of TVET and of higher education.
The education and training standards and curriculum should identify learning outcomes based on occupational standards, and should balance cognitive, technical, and life skills development, while including career guidance norms. The curriculum should be in modular format to ensure it can be delivered on a full-or part-time basis (as in-service for current employees), with appropriate adjustments. A process will also be put in place for ongoing review and updating of educational standards, learning outcomes, and curriculum. The process will include defining the measurement of learning outcomes of specific modules and of the overall curriculum as the basis for assessment.
Sub-component 1.3. Development of a roadmap for establishing an independent qualifications assessment and award system through the provision of technical support for piloting sector-specific skills testing and professional certification centers
This Sub-component supports technical assistance to enhance the occupational qualifications assessment and award system by reviewing the existing legislation basis and mechanisms in the country and piloting sector and industry specific skills testing and professional certification centers, and build the capacity of assessment and awarding institutions towards an independent institutional structure and practice based on the quantitative (open vacancies) and qualitative (required competencies) needs of the employers (sector associations). Outputs of the Ministry of Education and Science of RK pilot (2012-2014) on development and implementation of institutional model for independent qualifications assessment and award system in the sectors of mining, oil and gas and tourism will be used.
A process will also be put in place for ongoing review and updating of the qualifications assessment and award system. In support of NQF implementation, further alignment of existing qualifications of TVET and higher education is needed. The instruments, practices, and institutional structures to assess and award qualifications will be modernized and aligned based on the employers’ needs. Links will be made with the emerging quality assured assessment system integrated into the curriculum of TVET and higher education providers (see Sub-component 1.2) based on voluntary certification of TVE and higher education institutions’ graduates employed according to the education major. An independent evaluation of the two systems will be carried out, focusing on validity, reliability, and authenticity.