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Expanding the frontiers of national qualifications frameworks through lifelong learning

  • Author: Yaw Owusu-Agyeman (Ghana Technology University CollegeAccra)

Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 657–678

Abstract

The adoption of a national qualifications framework (NQF) by some governments in all world regions has shown some success in the area of formal learning. However, while NQFs continue to enhance formal learning in many countries, the same cannot be said for the recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning. Focusing on competency-based technical and vocational education and training (TVET) within its NQF, Ghana introduced the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Qualifications Framework (NTVETQF) as a sub-framework in 2012. In the wake of the NTVETQF’s limited success, the author of this article reasons that a lifelong learning approach could enhance its effectiveness considerably. Comparing national and international policies, he argues that the NTVETQF should be able to properly address the issues of progression from informal and non-formal to formal modes of lifelong learning within the country’s broad context of education. In addition, the study conceptualises the integration of lifelong learning within a broad NQF in four key domains: (1) individual; (2) institutional; (3) industry; and (4) state. The author concludes that, for the NTVETQF to achieve its goal of facilitating access to further education and training while also promoting lifelong learning for all (including workers in the informal economy), effective integration of all modes of lifelong learning is required. Although this entails some challenges, such as recognition of prior learning and validation of all modes of learning, it will help to widen access to education as well as providing individuals with a pathway for achieving their educational aspirations.

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