Dubai Cares opens education horizons for youth in Ecuador


DUBAI. 30th July, 2018 (WAM) — Dubai Cares today announced the launch of a new programme in Ecuador focused on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, in partnership with VVOB, a Belgian Flemish organisation which focuses on education for development.

The AED1,835,000 million (US$500,000) programme titled, “Skilling for Sustainable Tourism” is set to provide tourism-related courses to 4,073 students in upper secondary education levels, providing the required skills to gain employment in, and contribute to, the sustainability of Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry.

The three-year programme, to be implemented across 21 schools in the country’s capital Quito and the province of Manabi, targets 53 officials from the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education, as well as 72 in-service teachers.

It aims to upgrade the teachers’ technical and pedagogical competencies through a combination of training, peer learning and remote coaching that focuses on what to teach and how to teach it. The programme is also set to develop teaching materials which highlight the importance of sustainable tourism, bring structure to the content of the selected teaching modules by providing highly organised lesson plans and instructions for competency-based teaching. It seeks to support students with relevant and practical experience during their studies by providing them with project-based workplace learning opportunities.

Commenting on the new initiative, Annina Mattsson, Programmes Director at Dubai Cares, said, “The opportunities for employment of young people in Ecuador are hampered by an education system that does not equip them with the skills required, as well as limited access to work experience. Since Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry has been growing rapidly and is expected to increase its contribution to both GDP and employment further, our program aims to prepare Ecuadorian youth for these employment opportunities and to contribute to the development of this economic sector.”

Ecuador is doing well on several indicators of human development, but poverty is widespread. Youth between the age of 15 and 29 account for around one-quarter of the population, an age group marked by high levels of underemployment and unemployment, as well as precarious working conditions.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census 2015, 11.3 percent of youth are unemployed and 53.2 percent are “inadequately” employed, as the education system does not prepare them with the skills they need for success after school.

Caroline Decombel, VVOB Programme Manager in Ecuador, said, “We are very proud to collaborate with Dubai Cares in Ecuador. With the Skilling for Sustainable Tourism project, we are committed to improving technical education for tourism students in Quito and Manab?. Past experiences in the country have shown that our approach of linking technical schools with the private sector to provide relevant education opportunities is effective. With the valued support of Dubai Cares, we can further improve this approach, apply it to the field of sustainable tourism and prepare for scaling. We look forward to the graduation of a newly skilled tourism workforce. This will not only positively impact these young graduates and their future employers, but it will also boost the tourism sector in Ecuador in an eco-friendly way.”

Source: WAM/Nour Salman