The Kingdom of Bhutan is long considered as the paragon of sustainable development in the region and known for its national economic policy that "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product" first enunciated by His Majesty of the Fourth King of Bhutan in the early 1970s. This is in-line with its aspiration that its development will be geared towards a holistic, inclusive and sustainable approach.
In Bhutan, there is now an increasing awareness and recognition among TVET policy makers about the critical role TVET can play for sustainable development. There are progressive efforts in exploring various alternative strategies for creating engagement with industry and to bring value innovations by exploring opportunities for sustainable development in the market places. Technological and societal developments and growing concerns about climate change, environmental degradation and scarcity of resources are changing nature of work and demand that TVET develop skills and provide knowledge to pave the way towards a green economy and green societies.
The Royal Government of Bhutan supports this process by promoting a methodological and systemic approach to changing jobs and skill demands, and helps TVET institutions develop their capacity to produce a workforce that matches evolving market requirements. Because of the importance and urgency of these concerns, the topic of TVET Pathways to Sustainable Development was selected as the theme by Bhutan for the In-Country Program (ICP) organized jointly with the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), Manila. This was held from October 17-21, 2016 at Thimphu and invited a total of 27 participants.
It is projected that through the In-Country Program on TVET for Sustainable Development, CPSC will further contribute to raising the awareness and provision of skills, values necessary to put sustainable development for TVET System into practice. This program aims to provide resources, ideas, strategies, etc. to help those involved in the training and development to meet the learning needs of today and even the future for achieving sustainable development.
The program was supervised by Dr. Ram Hari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General and was coordinated by Prof. Pramod B. Shrestha, Ph.D, Former GB Faculty Consultant, CPSC, Manila and Former Professor & Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Engineering in Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Local arrangements were made possible by Mr. Sangay Dorji, Chief Program Officer of the Department of Human Resources in the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR), Bhutan. Notable resource persons for the program include Mr. Tandin Dorji, Chief Program Officer, Quality Assurance Division (QAD), Department of Occupational Standard, MoLHR; and Mr. Karma Dorji, Sr. Program Officer, Technical and Professional Service Division of the Department of Human Resources, MoLHR.
Aside from classroom lectures, the program also included a study tour that showcases green industries currently in-place in the country. It also included some lectures on eco-tourism, green entrepreneurship and the development of a green curriculum.
It is hoped that through this program, the participants were able to identify appropriate approaches and techniques for TVET systems and outline the processes and tools to be used in achieving sustainable development. They are also expected to develop appropriate strategies and framework to address TVET sustainability issues and integrate sustainable aspects in the curriculum and program of TVET. In addition, they are also hoped to create awareness among their peers and colleagues on the changing workplace requirements for green jobs and incorporate green TVET institution concept and green auditing in their own institutions. Lastly, they are expected to come up with a suitable and favorable action-based Plan for TVET Pathways to Sustainable Development.