The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), in collaboration with the Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) of the Government of Malaysia, held its annual in-country program on TVET for Sustainable Development at Hotel Midah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 18-22, 2014.

The in-country program was organized in order to assist participants in understanding concepts of Sustainable Development (SD) and the green economy in the context of TVET, and bring up the in-vogue practices of integrating SD into TVET and how to further reinforce the existing efforts in adherence to the National Technology Policies of the country. It is also targeted that the participants will be able to appraise strategies and issues in integrating sustainability aspects into TVET, as well as develop the awareness about changing workplace requirements for green jobs. The lectures and topics selected were designed to encompass current policies, practices and structures for greening the economy and the Malaysian TVET response.

Themes and topics for the program included: (1) Sustainable Development in TVET: Perspectives & Current Practices; (2) Integrating SD into TVET: Practices, Issues and challenges; (3) Government Policies, Regulations and Concepts, Practices and Future Agenda; (4) Greening TVET as ESD Strategy: Emerging Green Economy and the TVET Response and (5) The Green Energy Index for Malaysia. The participants are then required to come up with an action plan with the aim of transforming the knowledge that they gained into concrete and definite plan for action.

Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, Director General of CPSC supervised the program. Datuk Hj. Mohlis bin Jaafar, Director General of the Department of Polytechnic Education and Dr. Hazrat Hussain, CPSC Faculty Consultant jointly handled the program coordination. The Assistant Director of DPE, Mrs. Nurhafizah Yahaya, was in charge of the local coordination and logistics. Overall, the program involved the participation of 22 administrators and lecturers coming from the different polytechnics in the country.

The opening ceremonies were graced by the Director of the Policy Development Division, Department of Polytechnic Education Malaysia, Dr. Mohammad Rashahidi bin Mahamud. In his opening speech, Dr. Rashahidi explained basic understanding on sustainable development and how skill development can be significant to fulfill the demands of the unfolding green economy in the context of Malaysia. He also informed the participants about the work done by DPE at the polytechnic level and in terms of curriculum and training programs development on top of the current on-going activities in collaboration with Ministry of Technology, Green Energy and Water (KeTTHA) and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA). He emphasized the need to actively participate in the program and try to translate their learning into a plan of action while focusing on different aspects of the greening TVET and sustainable development.

In response, Dr. Naim expressed his appreciation to the good work done by the DPE in gearing its TVET system to its current leadership stage and acknowledged the timeliness of the ICP in addressing the trend of developing sustainable energy efforts in the TVET system. He mentioned the efforts being done to uphold the Green Energy Act as a major guideline for economic activities and institutional responses for clean and green development. He also emphasized the need for DPE to respond to the growing demand for green technology courses through the creation of additional training programs oriented towards green skills and sustainable development. He also gave brief account of the global perspective on sustainable development and greening movement of the economy.

Assoc. Prof. Sr. Dr. Fadzil Hassan of UiTM, Malaysia and Ms. Mathumathi Ambigabadi of the Green Technology Policy Division, Ministry of Technology, Green Energy and Water, Malaysia were invited to share their expertise to the participants. Representatives from Shanghai Jingge Technology Co., Ltd, led by the Manager of the Overseas Market, Mr. David Cui, were invited to make a presentation and grace the closing ceremonies.

As a component of the program, a study visit was held at the Merlimau Polytechnic College in Melaka, Malaysia. This visit aimed to provide a concrete example to the participants on how sustainable development is integrated into the TVET curriculum. Recently, the institution was recognized as the winner of the small and medium building capacity of the “ASEAN Best Practices Energy Management for Building and Industries Award” by the ASEAN Center of Energy, which is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Among the highlights of the program was a National Seminar on Green Growth: Policy Directions, Industrial Response and TVET Interventions in Malaysia to be held within the program on August 22, 2014. Aimed at showcasing Malaysia’s efforts in coming up with measures to integrate sustainable development practices in TVET, the seminar is expected to draw speakers from Department of Polytechnic Education and Malaysian Automotive Institute. It is seen that the seminar will act as springboard for exchange of information, knowledge and practices about green growth solutions and packages and regulatory frameworks and how TVET will assess its potential in meeting the challenges in terms of planning for skilled manpower in green technologies and sustainable practices.

The speakers of the program included the following distinguished experts: (1) Datuk Hj. Mohlis bin Jaafar, Director General of the Department of Polytechnic Education" who delivered a presentation titled "The Integration of Sustainable Development in Malaysia: National and Polytechnic Initiatives; (2) Mohd. Nazmi Bin Mohd Nur, Head of Research Unit, Malaysia Automotive Institute, who provided a presentation on "Global Green Growth Initiatives from the perspective of Automotive Industry"; (3) Leon Lai, the Senior Manager of the Human Capital Development, Malaysia Automotive Institute who presented on “Industry Solution for Clean and Green Technologies and the Needed Dynamics for Skill Development"; and Mr. Michael Xia from Shanghai Jingge Technology Co., Ltd., who discussed the Training Technology Solutions for the Automotive Sector Training".

In an expression of support and appreciation, Dr. Naim, emphasized that the seminar introduced an important trajectory on the relevance of auto sector industries in sharing the responsibility for the green TVET initiative and their willingness to share their demand for skills and the needed labor on a dynamic basis. The seminar was successfully concluded with a total of 51 attendees.

Photos from left to right, top to bottom: Dr. Naim presents a copy of the Research book to the chief guest of the program, Dr. Mohamad Rashahidi bin Mahamud; Dr. Hussain, Program Coordinator, presents his lecture to the participants; Datuk Mohlis Jaafar, Program Co-Coordinator, welcomes participants during the seminar; Program participants providing inputs for their task and listening to the lecture.