Tunisia: EU helps improve the link between education and employment

On 10 February, the EU Delegation in Tunisia presented evaluations of the Support Programme for the Modernisation of Secondary Education and the Programme for the Improvement of Professional Training (MANFORM II), both funded by the European Union, in partnership with the Tunisian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.
Launched in 2006 and completed in 2009, the Support Programme for the Modernisation of Secondary Education, funded with €30 million, mainly focused on improving the methods, tools and teaching structures with a view to enhancing the system’s fairness, supporting the establishment of an orientation and educational counseling system, and ensuring the professional development of the actors involved, while improving decentralisation and the use of information and communication technology.
The evaluation process has underscored the efficiency of the programme. However, aspects related to employability, namely the link between the preparation of secondary education graduates and the pathways to professional training, could have been improved, the evaluation found.
Launched in 2007 and completed in 2010, the Programme for the Improvement of Professional Training (MANFORM II), also funded with the amount of €30 million, builds on the results of the first programme by enhancing training programmes upon request, and improving the quality of these progammes.
On the long-term, it focuses on the identification of companies’ needs and the establishment of a national observatory for competencies and ‘innovative’ professions. In the short term, it aims at supporting an efficient partnership with companies, and promoting continuous training opportunities.
The Programme also aims at improving the quality of available programmes by increasing the number of training modules on the basis of competencies, establishing an educational inspectors’ board specialised in professional training as well as a system for degree recognition. Another objective of the Programme is to enhance the structures for the implementation of a sectoral strategy and the sectoral expenditure framework on the medium-term.
The evaluation process underscored the efficiency of the Programme to a large extent, as it resulted in a more rational use of the tools and methodologies which have been developed with the budgetary support. The Programme also helped raised public awareness of the training challenges and the imbalance between supply and demand, but also to the need to coordinate on-the-job training by enhancing the role of the National Observatory for Occupations and Qualifications.
In order to respond to the need to improve the link between training and the professional environment, a new Programme ‘Education, professional training, and higher education related to the employability of young graduates’ (PEFESE) was launched in January 2011. The Programme is funded by the European Union with an amount of €65 million. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release (in FR)
EU Delegation – Tunisia
EU Delegation fact sheet – EU support for Tunisia during the transition period (FR only)
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Tunisia

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