The Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC) and the Office of the Vocational Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Bangkok Thailand, jointly convene a 37-strong group of educators and leaders in Thailand for the 11th Champion Leaders Development Program for TVET Skills for Poverty Alleviation (SDPA). The program is being held from November 25-29, 2013, at Pathumthani College, Pathumthani, Thailand.

Directors, supervisors and educators from the community, polytechnic, vocational and commercial colleges in Thailand are the latest beneficiaries of the CPSC-Government of India (GOI) SDPA project. This special In-Country program on SDPA, is aimed to strengthen the capability of the participants to formulate plans, design and implement programs relevant to aspects of TVET skills in alleviating poverty in the country.

The Director of Pathumthani College, Dr. Kwanchai Panichkarn warmly welcomed OVEC and the CPSC team comprised of Dr. Rajesh Khambayat, and Ms. Arlene Cruz, SDPA Thailand Coordinator and CPSC Administrative Support, respectively. He said that the program is an opportune time for them to contribute to such noble undertaking by partnering with CPSC and OVEC and providing administrative and logistics support for the program.

Dr. Rajesh P. Khambayat delivered his lectures, theme paper presentations on the significance of creating leaders and building and enhancing their capacities to be champions in the fight against poverty through skills development. He facilitated tasks and assignments that measure the participants’ skills in planning and designing poverty alleviation strategies for their country. Apart from those, other participative tasks were included in the sessions to bring out the leadership qualities among the participants.

Dr. Chaiyaset Promsri, Resource Speaker on Innovative Practices and Use of ICT for Poverty Alleviation emphasized the role of champion leaders in assisting the royal government of Thai in achieving its country’s vision in addressing poverty alleviation through innovations and use of ICT.

Sandwiched in the one-week duration of the program, a National Seminar on TVET Skills for Enhancing Youth Employability: Perspectives and Strategies was held on November 27, Wednesday whereby a hundred participants attended. (see related story)

A Study Visit to a medium scale company named Sansurin and Sons, Inc. was held to highlight successful entrepreneurship in the country in view of eliminating poverty. The company prepares, packs and distributes salad dressing which were shared at first with friends as customers, then with one store until orders came from various restaurants. The company is now partnering with big industries like Nestle and Unilever.

The participants of the program are expected to come up with an action plan that will tackle poverty alleviation in the country through skills development program design, planning and implementation and are encouraged to continuously submit reports on the said activities for the program.

Dr. Rajesh Khambayat encourages participative discussions at the beginning of the session.

Dr. Kwanchai Panichkarn, Director of the program venue, Pathumthani College, delivers his welcome remarks at the opening ceremonies