Restructuring of the Technical Education and Vocational Training System Project (Balochistan)
sector: Education | country: Pakistan
A well-thought-out conceptual design is a key to the success of any project. In this case, the project design had commendable objectives, but it overestimated the commitment and capacity of the executing and implementing agencies, and relied too heavily on consultants.
Before a complex and innovative technical education and vocational training (TEVT) project is designed, particularly in a relatively less developed region like Balochistan, it is necessary to have extensive consultations with stakeholders directly involved with the TEVT system to develop realistic objectives and activities.
In provincial projects, it is important to clarify the sector reforms that can be authorized at the provincial level. A number of the proposed reforms, such as the competency-based training (CBT) and on-the-job training, required changes in the curriculum, which fell under federal purview.
Inadequate review by ADB of the Planning Commission form 1 (PC-1) and inconsistencies between the PC-1 and the report and recommendation of the President (RRP) slow down project implementation. To ensure a thorough review of the PC-1 by ADB, the project officer should be required to prepare a comparative statement identifying both the similarities and differences between the PC-1 and the RRP and loan agreement, and the Planning and Development Department (PDD) should be advised on corrective measures before the loan is declared effective.
Weak capacity of project staff results in procedural lapses, possible violations of the loan agreement, and slow implementation. Moreover, stringent internal audit controls and close monitoring of expenditures bring more transparency in financial transactions.
Frequent changes in project administration at ADB caused confusion and had a negative effect on project implementation. During the project, administration moved from the South Asia Department to the Central and West Asia Department, and from the Social Sector Division, via the Governance and Finance Division, to the Pakistan Resident Mission.
Given the weak capacity of the executing and implementing agencies, consultants should have been recruited before loan effectiveness. Had the consulting services been available, the project would most likely have achieved at least some of its objectives.
The goal of the Project is to contribute to the Government’s overall strategic goal of poverty reduction by enhancing competitiveness of TEVT and employability of its graduates in line with emerging market needs. The Project’s specific objectives are to (i) restructure and strengthen institutional capacity, efficiency, and autonomy of TEVT institutions; (ii) improve quality and relevance of TEVT programs; and (iii) enhance access and equity to better quality of TEVT programs.