Another joint training program was successfully organized by the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)-Singapore. The program, emphasizing on the Singapore Skills Transformation 4.0, was organized from July 23-30, 2021 and was delivered online via Microsoft Teams.

A total of 38 participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam were able to participate in the program. The participants come from different management posts in their respective technical education departments.

The program commenced through an opening ceremony on July 23, 2021 in which officials from the Colombo Plan Staff College and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore were invited. Special guests in attendance are the following: (1) Ms. Eleanore Kang, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; (2) Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, Director General of the Colombo Plan Staff College and (3) Mr. Bruce Poh, Chief Executive Officer of the ITE Education Services, Singapore.

Ms. Eleanor Kang, in her opening speech, cited the beneficial partnership between CPSC and MFA which has benefitted 260 TVET practitioners to date. They emphasized their commitment in delivering high quality programs despite the travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. She also mentioned the need for TVET to adapt to the changing education landscape and hoped that the program will serve as a platform for all participants to share their best practices and exchange information.

Dr. Lamichhane, meanwhile in his opening address, reiterated CPSC’s mandate in bringing quality online training. He cited the valuable collaboration between ITE Singapore in realizing a progressive TVET in the region and wished for the participants to learn as much knowledge as possible.

Mr. Bruce Poh hopes that the participants will be able to gain significant knowledge about Singapore’s transformation to a developed country through its socio-economic investments in TVET. He also expressed his confidence that the participants will be inspired by Singapore’s experience and learn about their best practices with the hopes of applying these lessons to address the challenges in their countries. During the six days duration, the following topics were tackled:

  • TVET best practices in adopted by the Singapore Government and TVET institutions
  • The Whole-of-Government approach in implementing TVET reforms
  • Formulating TVET strategies for national development
  • The translation of TVET strategies into action plans and programmes
  • Potential pitfalls/common mistakes in resolving TVET issues
  • New ideas/possibilities in tackling TVET issues and building a responsive and resilient TVET during this Pandemic and beyond
  • Smart Teaching to Prepare for the Digital World
  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) 4.0 to Address Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0

The program participants during the group photo session

Mr. Bruce Poh discussing the socioeconomic progress of Singapore since 1985.

Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane presenting his ideas on engaging entrepreneurship in IR 4.0

The program was officially closed on July 30, 2021. Ms. Eleanor Kang of MFA Singapore, Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane of CPSC and Mr. Heng Chiang Gnee of ITE Education Services were invited to close the program as special guests. They were able to convey the warm wishes of their organizations to the participants while imparting relevant messages to motivate and conclude the program in a positive note.

Participants’ Response

Mr. Md. Helal Uddin, Director, Technical and Madrasah Education Division, Ministry of Education, Bangladesh
“The seminar was a great opportunity for me. The content was very relevant and useful for me. I hope that the seminar was also relevant to other TVET professionals. It was well-organized and the participants are well-engaged. The resource persons are competent and responds to the queries of the participants well. Developed countries like Bangladesh greatly needs to develop their human resources through TVET and we are doing as much as we can in order to do that. I hope that CPSC will help us in establishing more partnership with Singapore and other countries. We hope that we can immensely benefit from the sharing of experiences and I wish for the success of the organizers for supporting this initiative.”
Dr. Rosanna A. Urdaneta, Deputy Director General for Policies and Planning, Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Philippines.
“I thought I know a lot of Singapore already from attending four programs since 2013. However, every time I join programs in ITEES I would learn new perspectives, insights and mindset. I actually asked some of my colleagues in TESDA to join and enrich their knowledge about Singapore’s transformation and we also had discussions and reflections as well. As government officials, we should continue to learn and pursue innovative ways for a more flexible delivery of services. The transformation of Singapore to what it is today is really worth noting and emulating. Learning from the presentations in this seminar has heightened our resolve to really strengthen the Philippine TVET system.”
Mr. Norbu Wangchuk, Director of the Department of Technical Education, Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, Bhutan.
“Personally, it is a pleasure to be a part of this learning experience which gave so many insights related to TVET development, some of which has not crossed my mind as of now. Honestly, it was one of the most stimulating TVET seminars that I have attended so far. The presentations are interesting and informative and the delivery was as effective and the materials are easily accessible and easy to understand. It was like attending the seminar in person and I could not ask for more."