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Training standards

Category: Bank Management

Setting training standards to guarantee relevant training means

Obviously, western course material often has to be adapted. This is why some schools (R.B.T.C., Tashkent, for example) have introduced «Faculty Development» weeks, during which western and local trainers discuss existing training material and develop it further. Upgrading and creating course materials actually requires joint work, as « development of innovative products will, in medium term, not be possible without the support of western trainers and consultants who provide the necessary know-how ». That is not to say that the initiative of local trainers is not useful for the development of new courses. On the contrary, trainers’ efforts to improve their products is very important and should be rewarded by the development of a payment scheme that gives substantial incentives to trainers who develop their own training material. And experts have to experience a learning process during which mutual understanding is built up.

The main problem often is choosing the relevant teaching methodologies.

Sometimes, western best practices (modern interactive approaches) simply cannot be used in C.I.S. banks.

One has first to consider the fact that some participants show reactions that it is difficult for not experienced trainers to deal with. For instance:

Some are complacent and believe they have nothing to learn and need no assistance with anything because they know how to do everything.

Some are good listeners but believe that the situation in C.I.S. is so very different that nothing westerners will say will be relevant.

There are also intercultural differences in learning processes: often the participants are quite passively waiting to listen to presentations of very precise solutions, but sometimes, also, there are reject reactions from local bankers concerning the tendency of some speakers to «talk down» to them, giving them the impression that they «knew nothing». Then, the participants want to be actively involved, the case studies, exercises and role plays (compared to reading and lecturing) are felt as beeing especially effective and are appreciated. The development of the curriculums should, thus, be carefully done and improved.

In fact, «our experience has shown us several times that eastern managers are not used to western ways of learning and teaching methods. They are used to academic training. In fact, they were accustomed to knowledge beeing vertically transmitted, handed down from top downwards, with ideological underpinnings, and being received without discussion. They have, therefore a preference for learning techniques based on formal presentations, with a definitive answer approach. So, they have:

— a tendency to assume that that there must be «laws» governing development, which can explain socio-economic performances. They do think that there must be normative orientation towards management activities,

— the conviction that they are here to learn, not to discuss their problems! They are unfamiliar with participative learning, based on sharing common difficulties and experiences,

— no perception that there could be, among others, different ways of perceiving things and different ways of being successful,

— difficulties of self-involvement in role plays,

— little true perception of the necessity of continuous training.

These reactions are intensified by the fact that many managers from banks are sent for training only because, according to the existing standards adopted by the Central Bank, specialised banking education is necessary to attain certain management positions.»

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