Amidst the backdrop of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) of Pakistan jointly organized this online in-country program that focuses on the Asia-Pacific Accreditation and Certification (APACC) accreditation. This was held from January 25-27, 2021 and was attended by 142 participants from all over the country.

The 3-day program was organized to widen the reach of APACC to Pakistan and strengthen its human resources. It is also organized to enhance the participants’ understanding of accreditation as a tool for improving the quality of TVET institutions, especially those in NAVTTC. The institutions are expected to build their capacity to start an actual accreditation process using APACC criteria in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Supervising the program is Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General and Dr. Muqeem Islam, the Director General for Accreditation & International Cooperation at NAVTTC. Engr. Sanyog Bhattarai, CPSC Faculty Specialist was the program coordinator and resource person. Engr. Abdul Ghani Rajput and Ms. Adrienne Abril, officer for APACC provided additional program resources and lectures on the side of CPSC while Mr. Irfan Ahmed Ujan, the Assistant Director for NAVTTC provided local resources and expertise.

During the opening remarks, Dr. Islam cited the importance of online training in disseminating relevant information during this trying time and encouraged the participants to tap this vast opportunity in enhancing their skills on implementing quality standards in TVET and in anticipation of the resumption of physical activities in the future. Dr. Lamichhane meanwhile, focused on the importance of establishing centers of excellence in each member country and cited the role of APACC in this endeavor, as well as the timeliness and relevance of this program in harnessing 21st century skills to the Pakistani labor force.

Topics tackled in the program include the APACC status report as well as the in-depth discussion of APACC’s seven criterion (Governance & Management, Teaching and Learning, Human Resources, Research & Development, Image & Sustainability, Other Resources and Support to Students). The procedures for onsite visits and the characteristics of the APACC team were also included.

Towards the end of the training program, Mrs. Saeeda Sayed, Mr. Muhammad Naeem Akhter and Engr. Altaf Qadar Bajwa spoke on behalf of the participants and cited the program’s organization and relevance. They commended that they have learned more about the recent trends in the Pakistani TVET system particularly on the emphasis towards research and image building. Overall, the program was appreciated by all participants and signals the eagerness to subject Pakistani TVET institutions to further APACC scrutiny in the future. Meanwhile, Dr. Islam, in his closing remarks, lauded the cooperation of both CPSC and NAVTCC in bringing in relevant and timely programs to advance the interests of TVET in Pakistan.

Mrs. Saeeda Sayed (left/top), Mr. Muhammad Naeem Akhter (center) and Engr. Altaf Qadar Bajwa (right/bottom) providing the response on behalf of the particiapnts

Dr. Muqeem Islam of NAVTTC providing his commendations to all participants of the program.

Some of the program participants