Research has been increasingly important to institutions as it helps address problems and provide informed evidences to support each decision. Recognizing the need to develop the research culture and encourage the use of modern technologies to aid techniques in achieving a reliable research output, the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC), in cooperation with the Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET) and the University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC), Sri Lanka, conducted an In-Country Program on “Research and Development in TVET” at the UNIVOTEC Campus, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka from December 19 to 23, 2011.

The program enhanced understanding and strengthened competencies on research techniques of the 31 administrators and teachers from the different technical colleges all over Sri Lanka, as well as officials from the government ministries and offices who attended and participated in the five-day program.

The CPSC delegation was composed of Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, Director General; Engr. Md. Jahangir Alam, CPSC Faculty Specialist and Program Coordinator and Mr. Rae Emmanuel Echaveria, Program Resource Person. DTET on the other hand, was represented by the Director-General, Dr. H.C. Ambawatte and the Deputy Director of the Research and Development Division, Mr. A.D. Rupasinghe who provided full support to the preparation and coordination of the program.

Mr. S.S. Hewapathirana, Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, of Sri Lanka, led the lighting of the oil lamp (panas) during the inauguration ceremony. In his speech, he highlighted the country’s need to further develop its research capability to meet the rising challenges in TVET. He also expressed his appreciation to the organizers and emphasized that the program is a timely approach towards their mission to improve TVET colleges across the country. Dr. Yaakub, on the other hand, expressed his deep gratitude to the government of Sri Lanka for its support to the CPSC initiatives and programs. He mentioned that the two programs conducted during the past year were in response to the needs of the Sri Lankan TVET system to continually improve its operations and bring a relevant change to its society.

Topics discussed include (1) Identification of Potential Areas for Research (2) Research Tools and techniques, (3) Developing a Research Instrument, (4) Using SPSS for Research and (5) Analyzing Data and Interpreting Results. Furthermore, Resource Person, Mr. B.H.S. Suraweera, Deputy Director General, Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), shared his insights on the topic Building the R & D Culture in the Sri Lankan TVET Institutions.

The program was well received by the participants as it successfully imparted pertinent knowledge on the subject as reflected in the overall program rating of over 97 %.