The Don Bosco network in Southeast Asia is the recent group of educators that availed of CPSC’s customized program centered on TVET accreditation and quality assurance. This was held from August 31-September 6, 2021 and involved a total of 19 school administrators, trainers and personnel from Don Bosco schools in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Overall, this is the third customized program that the Don Bosco Tech ASEAN jointly organized with CPSC.

This program was designed to assist the Don Bosco Tech’s heads, managers and staff in providing awareness on the concepts and principles of quality assurance in order to pursue baby steps towards harmonizing quality TVET standards among its ASEAN member countries, a compliance committee and eventually establishing its accreditation systems. A training workshop type, the program provided capacity building in recognizing the differences between institutional accreditation and program accreditation requirements including assessing the TVIs’ general readiness to undergo accreditation. Some group work activities also equipped the participants with deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance and benefits of quality assurance towards drawing up an accreditation system.

Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane supervised the program while Ms. Therese Tan Lee, lead consultant of the UNESCO international institute and external validator of TESDA-Philippines coordinated the program, both of whom acted as resource persons as well. Ms. Adrienne Abril, Officer of the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) was also tapped as a resource person.

The opening ceremony was held on August 31, 2021 and was attended by key officials from both organizations. Bro. Ephrem Santos, coordinator of the Don Bosco Tech ASEAN, welcomed the participants and said that other countries can learn a lot from the upcoming session particularly the case of the Philippines when it comes to quality assurance in education. He also thanked CPSC for their efforts and hoped that the training will result in more confidence in undergoing future accreditation and certification exercises.

Bro. Ephrem Santos, coordinator of the Don Bosco Tech ASEAN, during the opening ceremony.
Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe during the closing ceremony.

The five-day training workshop focused on discussing the following topics: (1) TVET Quality Assurance Practices in Asia and the Pacific; (2) Overview of TVET Quality Assurance System; (3) APACC Accreditation as External Quality Assurance; (4) TVET Accreditation (Institutional and Program) Requirements and (5) Establishing Accreditation as Quality Assurance to Harmonize Quality TVET Standards/Criteria. They were also trained to answer short exercises, hone their skills as accreditors, determine the readiness of TVET institutes for accreditation and develop a basic accreditation guideline.

Prof. G.L.D Wickramasinghe, the newly appointed CPSC Director General, graced the Closing Ceremony on September 6, 2021. He expressed his confidence in the program’s coordinators that they were able to tackle the needs of the participants particularly on quality assurance and TVET accreditation. He also encouraged Don Bosco institutions to continually strive for higher quality operations for the benefit of their stakeholders.

Mr. Buth Vichet from Don Bosco Sihanoukville, Cambodia, speaking on behalf of the participants.
Mr. Augustinus Kristyanto delivering his closing speech.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr. Buth Vichet from Don Bosco Sihanoukville, Cambodia mentioned that because of the training, he became interested in TVET accreditation and quality assurance. He also learned a lot about the APACC criteria and is committed to working with their skills, prepare the documents and practice in order to prepare their institutes for future APACC accreditation.

Mr. Augustinus Kristyanto, managing director of Don Bosco Tech ASEAN, also expressed his appreciation to all organizers for the successful training. He mentioned that the success of the training is not seen on how the participants understand the material but how the concrete impact is produced in terms of institutional and professional performance. He also mentioned that due to the intensive cooperation of the Don Bosco Tech ASEAN members from 8 countries in the region, the benefits of the training are hopefully to be disseminated to more participants and countries under the Don Bosco network. In line with their vision, he encouraged everyone to join hands in realizing the impact of vocational training in terms of poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Group picture of the CPSC officials and Don Bosco representatives