The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), in collaboration with the Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET), held its annual in-country program on Image Building in TVET at the Distance Learning Center (DLC), Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), Colombo, Sri Lanka from June 13-17, 2016. Forty-two (42) TVET instructors and administrators coming from all over the country participated in the program.
The program addressed common observations about the relatively negative impression on TVET across Asia, and the stigma attached to it as "second class". With such "stereotype", tech-voch courses are not among popular choices for a career being associated with blue-collar jobs in these countries. The program also seeks to address the low TVET enrollment and the reasons behind these such as the lack of interest and access to information about the benefits of technical education and training.
Themes discussed during the program included the experiences and possible avenues for image building in Sri Lanka, enhancing TVET image through APACC Accreditation & ICT, gender mainstreaming in TVET and enhancing employability of youth for global citizenship. These paved the way for participants to identify and apply corporate image building mechanisms and strategies for their respective TVET institutions and promote and enhance relevance and quality of vocational skills for improved employability.
Program supervision and implementation was made possible through Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, Acting Director General of CPSC. Local arrangements were facilitated and coordinated by Mr. J. A. Ranjith, Director General of DTET and Ms. H.E.M.A.W.S. Amunugama, Deputy Director of Human Resources Management, DTET. Local expertise on Corporate TVET image was delivered by Dr. Arvind Kulkarni, Director of Planning & Relationships, KLE Technological University in Hubli, Karnataka State, India and Mr. Ajith Jayawardhana, Director of Career Guidance and Counselling, University of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
To supplement more relevant information and strategies on TVET image building, a National Seminar on "Initiatives and Practices in Building TVET Image in Sri Lanka" was conducted on June 16, 2016 at the same venue. The seminar aimed to serve as a platform for experience sharing and concept leveling on TVET as a preferred choice that promise better career options and to provide better understanding on support to TVET by involving extended community of practice. Seventy (70) people, mostly SLIDA students and staff attended the seminar.
The national seminar tackled themes such as: (1) Emerging National Challenges of Meeting Skill Power Needs through TVET Response in Sri Lanka, (2) Government Policies, Regulations and Financial Support to Make TVET as a Preferred Choice for Youths in Sri Lanka, (3) Branding Corporate Image: Fundamentals and Practices and (4) Stakeholders Participation and Branding Mechanism.
More experts namely, Mr. P. Ranepura, Secretary of the Ministry of Skills Development Vocational Training Sri Lanka and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha,C hairman of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) were invited during the seminar to share their insights on the latest trends and techniques in improving TVET corporate image and refashioning TVET systems in the country.
The program ended with high appreciation by the participants, as reflected in its 89.28% rating which is considered to be excellent as per CPSC standards. Their constructive feedback on the program's management and delivery were also noted and regarded.