Re-skilling for All? The Changing role of TVET in Ageing Societies of Developing countries.
The changing age profile of the world's population is now a well-established fact. Research done by the UN department of Economic and Social Affairs demonstrates that by 2050, 22.1% of the world population will be 60 years or older (in 2000 it was 10%). If we are looking at current statistics, the situation in developed and developing countries is quit different. For example in Europe in 2000 - 19% of the population was age 60 or over, while in Asia it was only 8% (United Nations Secretariat, 1998). Even within the OECD countries (see for example, Turkey, Mexico and the UK) there are differences in demographics. However, modelling done by the UN demonstrates that the tempo of ageing in developing countries is more rapid than in developed countries, thus developing countries are likely to have less time than the developed countries to adapt to the consequences of population ageing. For developing countries age-related reforms are often not at the top of the political agenda, since other pressing issues such as poverty alleviation, skill development for youth, unemployment take a lot of attention. Thus there is an urgent need to explore the issue of aging population in developing countries and identify some approaches and strategies for dealing with the emerging issue. Theoretical approaches adopted in this paper consider individuals within the context where they perform their activities using 'tools' they have learnt in their personal and social relations throughout their life. The paper has discussed an activity theory approach as a possible way towards analysing the learning activity of the elderly in developing countries. Such an approach firmly positions it within a particular context including the need, policies, meaningfulness for learners and employers. This analysis can help to develop training interventions for policy formulations and increase of public awareness.
TVET in an Ageing Society