Liberalization and globalization of the world’s economies, including CPSC’s member country Sri Lanka, calls for the adoption of latest technologies and practices in various sectors. Quality and productivity have to be improved so that the country’s products become competitive in the world market. These changes ultimately have to be carried out by the people and in the face of these swift changes, human resource development assumes a central place. There are competitive pressures of quality, reduced response times, seeking and sustaining new markets. Technical manpower will have to meet these challenges effectively. This calls for collaboration between TVET institutions and the industry in program design, implementation and evaluation.
In retrospect, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) feels the need to organize an In-Country program that will enhance and establish linkages with the industry to strengthen its TVET system in line of the said developments. The program was held at the Department of Technical Education and Training Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka from May 22 to 26, 2017. It was attended by 47 participants from all over the country.
On the culmination of the five-day training, the participants were expected to be able to appreciate the significance of accreditation and certification services offered by the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) for strengthening TVET systems in the region. They should also possess the knowledge of trends in industry institute linkages in the Asia-Pacific countries. The lessons were designed for them to have an understanding on enhancing industry institution linkages through business incubation and on the expectations of industries from students, teachers and TVET institutions. The presentations enabled the participants to have knowledge on relation between the labor market and TVET.
The program was supervised by Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General and Mr. J.A. Ranjith Director General of the Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET). Program coordination and resources were arranged by former CPSC Faculty Consultant Prof. Dr. Suresh Kumar Dhameja, Dean of the Academics and International Affairs; Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Coordination and Head of the Department of Information Management and Coordination in the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh, India. Local arrangements were made possible through Mrs. H.E.M.A.W.S. Amunugama, Deputy Director - Human Resources Management, DTET Sri Lanka.
Topics tackled include: (1) Industry- Institution Linkages: Introduction and Case Studies of TVET Institutions in Asia and the Pacific Countries; (2) Offering Continuation Education Programs and other Services by TVET Institutions to Industries: Sri Lankan Experiences; (3) Enhancing Industry- institution Linkages through Business Incubation and Labor Market and TVET System. The program also included field visits in some of the small and medium-sized enterprises located in Colombo and interacted with their managers and personnel.
Furthermore, CPSC convened a one day National Seminar on “Industry-TVET Institution Linkages; Issues, Challenges and Opportunities” on May 25, 2017. The seminar was to create a platform for academicians, officials from TVET system, development partners, industry representatives to exchange innovative ideas and experience-based insights on issues related to industry institution linkages. The seminar will result in framing suitable recommendations for implementation by the TVET and industry sector for mutual benefit. It was attended by 80 participants.
The seminar was addressed by representatives from CPSC, the TVET systems of Sri Lanka, the industry and from bilateral organizations. In addition five selected paper presentations from teachers, trainers, researchers, curriculum developers, training and placement officers of TVET system of the country was also presented. The panel discussions also provided a venue for exchange of ideas on issues on TVET during the seminar.