The new post-2015 development agenda builds on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieve by 2015 since 2000. On 25 September, 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled "Transforming our world". The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called Global Goals with 17 Goals have been adopted. Among these, the Goal No. 4 is, Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and Equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all. The conclusion of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and its significance to future development challenges in the sustainability and inclusiveness of TVET is the centerpiece of this year's Regional Program held at CPSC in Manila, Philippines from September 28-30, 2015. The program gathered 18 administrators and representatives from 11 CPSC Members which include honorary member institutions as their first regional program participation.
The program recognizes the phenomenal technological developments due to globalization as well as the regional advancements in TVET that happened over the past two decades. CPSC believes that evidences of rapid environmental shifts are causing fundamental transformations which in turn causes a dramatic impact on management of organizations in general and TVET in particular. These transformations are seen by CPSC as opportunities for TVET to develop strategic mindsets in introducing changes in meeting the future. In addition, the program promotes TVET's sensitivity to the upcoming trends and challenges, as well as CPSC's role as a center for TVET development in the region.
The program aimed to fulfill the following objectives: (1) draw-up strategies to enhance the responsiveness of TVET in the member countries by anticipating future challenges; (2) introduce strategies spearheading necessary changes in order to make sustainable TVET an achievable goal; (3) generate new ideas on gearing TVET and human resources development into greater heights, taking into account the lessons and achievements of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and (4) introduce inputs necessary to reposition CPSC as an organization that promotes responsiveness and inclusivity of TVET in the member countries. The program was supervised/coordinated by the CPSC Officer-in-Charge, Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel and assisted by the Co-Coordinator, Dr. Romulita Alto.
Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel during his opening remarks, apprised the participants on the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the focus of TVET, which is on SDG No. 4 pertaining to educational inclusivity and accessibility. In addition, he also delivered the program orientation objectives and expectations and recognized the presence of important guests and speakers, particularly the presence of two past CPSC Director Generals.
CPSC invited guests and resource persons from different organizations whose expertise contributed to academic inputs and requirements. Their presentations contain valuable information on TVET and industry developments and are considered crucial in the formation of the issues that are to be tackled during the course of the program. The speakers include:
1. Dr. Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC and former Director General of CPSC (2007-2011) discussed how TVET will reposition itself in the light of the Post-2015 scenario;
2. Dr. Mohammad Naim bin Yaakub, Head of TVET Special Projects, Department of Polytechnic Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and former Director General of CPSC (2011-2015) further expounded the role of quality assurance systems in enhancing TVET effectiveness;
3. Ms. Karina Veal, Senior Social Sector Specialist at the South Asia Department in Asian Development Bank (ADB), tackled the challenges and opportunities of TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region; and
4. Mr. Ronald N. Gaspar, Assistant Vice President and Operations Manager of the Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) Foundation, explained the industry response to the TVET Challenges in the regional and global context.
After the special presentations, a roundtable discussion with the theme "Issues and Challenges of TVET in Asia-Pacific Region: How CPSC can Respond" will be undertaken by the participants. Discussions will focus on program priorities and organizational sustainability, particularly on enhancing CPSC's role in promoting sustainability and inclusivity.
At the end of the training program, participants are expected to create strategies encapsulating the trends, issues and challenges of TVET in the region as the synthesis of country-specific updates and developments in the local TVET scenario. It is also expected that the industry requirements of TVET in the upcoming years will also be discussed and taken into consideration in future strategies of the college. In addition, the program participants should come up with identified and suggested CPSC policy directions based on the findings of group discussions and presentations of the invited speakers. These outputs will be summarized and presented as inputs for the Eminent Experts' Group Meeting (EEGM) exercise which is scheduled to happen on October 1-2, 2015.