The Association of APACC Accreditees (AAA) was established to promote cooperation and strengthen regional ties among APACC accredited institutions. Following the meeting held in Port Dickson, Malaysia in December 2016, the Third AAA Meeting was held on December 20 – 21, 2018 at Songkhla Vocational College (SVC), Songkhla, Thailand. The event was hosted by the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Thailand and was fully supported by the SVC team.

A total of 52 representatives of APACC accredited institutions, National Coordinators for Accreditation, Special Officers, and representatives of Ministries handling technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand attended the meeting and discussed modalities for collaboration.

As the first AAA meeting hosted by the government of Thailand, several key officials from Thailand attended the opening program to address the meeting attendees. Mr. Pinyo Chanthawong, Songkhla Provincial Officer welcomed the guests to the City of Songkhla. Special Remarks were delivered by the APACC President Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, OVEC Project Management Consultant Dr. Siripan Choomnoom, and Deputy Director (Academic) of Politeknik Ungku Omar (Chairperson of AAA from December 2016 – December 2018) Mr. Muhammad Zubir bin Mohd Hanifah. Apart from the above, 15 heads and officials of various educational institutions in Thailand graced the opening ceremony to witness the milestone event.

After the opening ceremony on the first day, a tour of SVC Campus was held for benchmarking purposes. The AAA members visited the APACC room, research and invention exhibits, food processing laboratory, food and nutrition laboratory, and student organization office.

Research and invention exhibits Food and nutrition laboratory

The discussion commenced in the afternoon where the members shared information about their respective institutions and possible ways and means of collaboration with other institutions. Discussion on improvement of APACC processes and concrete way forward such as joint conduct of conference in 2019, student exchange, and joint research, was also facilitated.

The Head of Nachimuthu Polytechnic College (NPTC), India, Dr. C. Ramaswamy, was elected as the new AAA Chairperson from December 2018 to December 2020. Other members of the Board of Directors include Dr. Mohd Zahari Bin Ismail, Director, Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (PSA) Malaysia; Dr. Naimah Binti Md. Khalil, Director, Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah (PSAS) Malaysia; Dr. Gerardo R. Marasigan, Acting Vocational School Superintendent, Quezon National Agricultural School (QNAS) Philippines; Dr. Perla Lucas, Vocational School Superintendent, Southern Isabela College of Arts and Trades (SICAT) Philippines; Mr. Thawatchai Punnikul, Director, Ubon Ratchathani Vocational College (UVC) Thailand; and Dr. Prasai Prawatrunguang, Director, Siam Business Administration Technological College (SBAC) Thailand. It was decided that the fourth AAA meeting will be held in NPTC India on December 2020.

APACC President with new AAA Board Members and other officials. (From L-R) Pn. Noor Aidi Nadzri (Malaysia National Coordinator for Accreditation), Dr. Perla Lucas (SICAT), Dr. Gerardo R. Marasigan (QNAS), Dr. Mohd Zahari Bin Ismail (PSA), Mr. Muhammad Zubir bin Mohd Hanifah (PUO), Mr. Manivannan Ramachandiran (NPTC), Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, Dr. Ashok Madhavan (NPTC), Dr. Naimah Binti Md. Khalil (PSAS), Mr. Thawatchai Punnikul (UVC), Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs (APACC Special Officer, Thailand), and Dr. Yupin Thongsongsom (SBAC).

Cultural Night

To cap the two-day event, another benchmarking activity was conducted at Hat Yai Technical College where College officials provided institutional background and led the guests to a brief tour of workshops.