In its first collaborative venture, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and the Philippine Association of Industrial and Technology Education (PAITE) pulled off the "6th National Congress on Benchmarking in Industrial Technology Education, The International Perspective" from December 1 to 3, 2015 at the Integrated Research and Training Center Conference Hall, of the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Manila. TUP was a co-organizer of the congress.
Gathering 139-strong college/university administrators and educators from all over the Philippines, from the National Capital Region (NCR) and various regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the joint special program took a closer look into different international viewpoints and practices in industrial technology education particularly of India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The congress intended to: strengthen awareness on the reform initiatives in industrial and technology education; benchmark and make a model out of the international perspectives and experiences; adopt best practices in industrial and technology teacher preparation; and share knowledge and research findings/outputs through research and poster presentations.
CPSC, mainly placing international perspectives in the Congress, provided speakers from India, Singapore and Thailand. Dr. Samuel Ng, Director, VTE Development, Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore as Plenary Speaker 1 talked about the "TVET Teacher Development - The Singapore (ITE) Perspective"; Plenary Speaker 2 Dr. Seloamoney Palaniandy, Professor, Infrastructure University, Malaysia, gave a talk on "A Perspective on Industrial Education in Malaysia: The Structure, Role and Challenges"; Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, CPSC Officer-in- Charge, delivered a presentation on "Strengthening TVET through the integration of ICT" as Plenary Speaker 3; and Plenary Speaker 4 Dr. Numyoot Songthanapitak, President, RMUTL, Thailand, shared about the "PPP: University-Industry-Government in the Knowledge Society".
Prof. Dr. GK also briefly spoke on the Asia-Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) and highlighted its activities and benefits upon inquiries of most of the participants on such particular service of the College. The event proved to be a venue for promoting APACC which spurred interest among most of the administrators who attended the event.
In his special message for the congress, Prof. Dr. GK encouraged all the educators and participants to discuss as much as needed, bring positive change, and disseminate whatever had been gained to contribute in creating awareness on the initiatives for reform in industrial and technology education. On, the other hand, Dr. Olympio Caparas, President, PAITE, Inc., in his welcome address, advised his members and participants of the conference that efforts to improve programs and teaching strategies must be relentless to be able to be globally competitive. He fervently endorsed benchmarking through international perspectives to be at par with at least the neighboring Asian countries.
CPSC and PAITE, Inc. also took the opportune time during the conference to formally and officially sign the organization's commitment and memorandum of agreement for the event. The memorandum stated each other's expressed intents and understanding in conducting the 6th congress and initiatives for any further future collaborative projects.
Prof. Dr. GK, Dr. Caparas and Dr. Adora Pili, TUP President composed the Executive Committee of the Congress. The Executive Committeewas assisted by the Working Committee composed of Dr. Romeo Ebonite, Dean, College of Industrial Education-TUP with Prof. Emelita Nuyda, PAITE. For CPSC's counterpart, in the Secretariat were Ms. Arlene Cruz, Research, Publications and Information Officer, together with Ms. Linda Gonzales, Finance Officer and Bryan Lazaro, Projects and Consultancy Assistant.
CPSC staged an exhibit booth of CPSC and APACC during the event. Some CPSC publications were on display like the Research in TVET Made Easy which was well-patronized by the conference participants. Likewise, several attendees inquired and expressed keen interest about the APACC.