Over 1,500 participants from eight different countries in Latin America have already successfully completed the distance learning course “Training of Trainers”. There is also great interest from other countries in the region in this online offer, which has been developed technically and in terms of content by the Christiani Academy.
The success of Germany’s dual vocational training system is no coincidence. It is based on a modern legal and regulatory system, good staff qualifications of all those involved in vocational education and training, as well as structures that promote learning with tailored teaching and learning arrangements. Just as essential is the vocational-pedagogical interlinking of theory and practice. Particularly in countries with a very large proportion of academic degrees, there is a need to catch up in practice-oriented training.
In order to create a firm institutional foundation for vocational education and training in these countries and to improve its status, the focus is on already proven training systems. In Latin America, the success story of the German dual vocational training system has been known for several years through the Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs). A characteristic of the success of the German training system is the strong and stable economy, which is also desired in Latin America for its own countries. As a result, the intention is to implement dual elements in their own training system, which is supported financially by the “Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) or the Dual University of Latin America (DHLA).
There is great interest in the German system of dual vocational education and training in Latin American countries, but this requires teaching. For this reason, the German government began to create incentives for cooperation opportunities a few years ago, including financial incentives for German training providers. The project we have implemented was also financed by funding from the GIZ, the DHLA, the DIHK-Bildungs-GmbH and by a contribution from the Christiani Academy itself.
In April 2018, a cooperation between the Christiani Academy and the Chamber of Commerce of Colombia was launched. Most trainers in local companies do not have the knowledge of how to convey training content didactically and methodically in line with everyday working life. There are very few training opportunities for trainers on site. The geographical characteristics with large distances between the company locations make face-to-face training impossible. In response to this framework, a request was made for a comprehensive online course that teaches the methodological and didactic basics of training practice in a self-learning mode and within a manageable time frame. The basis for the implementation of this project was the framework plan of the German Ordinance on Trainer Qualification (AEVO).
The AEVO is an instrument that is used to test and ensure the personal and professional qualifications of a trainer, i.e. his/her vocational and occupational pedagogical skills, knowledge and abilities. To prepare them for the examination at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) or, as in the case of Colombia, at the Chamber of Commerce (AHK), they use a range of courses that teach the content of four fields of activity oriented to the training process: Checking vocational training requirements and planning vocational training, preparing vocational training and helping to recruit trainees, carrying out vocational training and completing vocational training.
We have concentrated the entire content of the AEVO to such an extent and tailored it to Colombian requirements that it can be completed online in less than 20 hours. After the training in each individual field of activity, there is a learning success control. If you have successfully completed all four fields of action of the self-study course, you can print out the certificate of completion after passing the final online exam, which we have created especially for this purpose.
Experience and Efficient Exchange of Information
One challenge that had to be addressed in designing the content of the online course for the target group of Colombian professionals. Besides the institutional and legal differences, there were also culture-specific features, such as the heterogeneous social structure and the barriers to education due to geography or finances.
The educational standards of Latin American countries vary significantly. These deviations do not only relate to legal and partly linguistic peculiarities, but also to the infrastructural framework conditions. An educational system as we know it in Germany only exists in rudimentary form or not at all in some countries. For example, there are often trade unions or a youth employment protection law, but in most cases these instances do not have sufficient scope or influence.
After two years, the online train the trainer project was successfully completed in April 2020. Our experience as a provider of distance learning courses and the efficient exchange of information with the Chamber of Commerce in Colombia were decisive for the good result. In the meantime, numerous chambers of commerce in Latin America are using the online offer created in the cooperation.
Author: Dr. Theodoros Konstantakopoulos
Article submitted By:
Dr.-Ing. Paul Christiani GmbH & Co. KG