Quality of WBL in North Macedonia
In 2017, the European Training Foundation established a Forum for Quality Assurance, a project that will be implemented in the coming two years with the aim of developing a quality assurance process. The project will deliver the Concept for Work-based Learning which will contain, among others, the part dealing with the quality of work-based learning.
VET legislation with relevance for quality assurance includes:
- Law on the Education Inspectorate (2005)
- Law on Vocational Education and Training (2006)
- Law on the Bureau for Development of Education (2006)
- Law on Adult Education (2008)
- Law on the State Examination Centre (2008)
- Law on the NQF (2013 and 2016)
- Law on Teachers in Primary and Secondary Schools (2015)
- Law on Academy for Teachers (2015).
Many of these laws have been subject to several amendments in the previous period. All are accompanied by a number of by-laws, including those for regulation: occupational standards, qualifications standards, curricula, modules/programs, conditions for implementation, teaching staff and assessment.
The Strategy for Vocational Education and Training in the Context of Lifelong Learning 2013-2020 with Action Plan – Better Skills for a Better Tomorrow – aims to improve VET quality assurance, including alignment with the EQAVET Framework. A Strategy for Education (2018-2025) supports NQF implementation, qualifications design and IVET and CVET certification and related quality assurance measures.
Regulatory mechanisms for quality assurance in VET include:
- A national approach to quality assurance related of IVET and CVET compatible with the EQAVET quality cycle;
- Statutory registration of VET and CVET providers as a condition of accreditation by the MoES, BDE, VETC, CAE and SEI;
- Prescribed procedure for preparation and adoption of qualifications in vocational education;
- MoES verification of curricula/programmes for formal VET and CAE verification of curricula/programmes for non-formal learning;
- The assessment of the results of the achievement of the competencies in IVET is carried out internally through continuous monitoring of students’ progress throughout the entire education process, with results being evaluated formally and summarily;
- At the end of the education, students complete their education by passing state mature or final vocation exam;
- Evaluation of results in non-formal education is done by a heterogeneous commission with representatives from the provider, employers and education;
- The primary source for securing funding for schools is the state budget, and it can also be provided by the units of local self-government and other sources, and they are mandatory. The good side of these mechanisms is the ability to provide an additional source for school needs. This allows schools to be more open to the realization of educational projects whose financiers are mainly international donors.
The following contribute to the quality assurance of VET qualifications:
- The NQF Law establishes principles, objectives, quality assurance procedures for qualifications (qualification standards, types, development and acquisition of qualifications, levels and qualifications submissions, verification/accreditation of providers, programs/ modules, certification, etc.), assessment processes, competent authorities, institutions, bodies and commissions, keeping a Register of NQF, etc.;
- The cycle of creating a new qualification in formal education includes the preparation of the following documents: stakeholder initiative with justification, occupational standards, qualification standard, teaching plan, modules/programs, and exam program. All documents are prepared by heterogeneous working groups composed of employers, professors from a relevant faculty, teachers and appropriate advisor from VETC;
- The cycle of creating a new qualification in non-formal education involves the preparation of occupational standards and a special adult education program;
- All new or reformed qualifications are based on learning outcomes;
- Centralised responsibility for formal/non-formal VET curriculum development;
- National accreditation of VET institutions and verification of curricula.
Evaluation of VET providers includes self-assessment and external evaluation. School teams carry out school self-assessment every 2 years, based on State Education Inspectorate indicators covering 7 areas: a) curricula, teaching plans and programmes; b) student achievement; c) teaching and learning; d) student support; e) school environment; f) school resources; g) school management. Based on the results of self-evaluation, including a SWOT analysis, schools draw up development plans.
New developments – in progress
- Reforms in the four-year and three-year vocational education based on learning outcomes and compliance according to the needs of the labor market
- Developing a Concept note for work based learning that needs to be adaptable to VET
- Establishment of the Observatory of skills for monitoring the destinations of graduated students after secondary education and graduates after leaving the faculty
- Implementation of the NQF(established 5 sectorial councils)