A joint program co-organized by CPSC and Labtech International was successfully implemented online in Sri Lanka on December 6-9, 2021. The program involved the participation of 32 TVET instructors and trainers of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) sector from Sri Lanka, as well as from the Philippines.

This 4-day course provided an introduction for Teachers/Instructors to a TVET Learning Management System (LMS) and Virtual TVET Digital Learning Content. The objective is to get them up and running on when and how to use Virtual TVET and digital content and TVET LMS to monitor the progress and grades of learners within and across institutions, and how to integrate these into their classroom learning, plus management of courses. The outcome for the teacher/instructor/trainers is that it will be a refresher course on new technology and applying a hybrid approach in the relevant subject area. This is specifically organized for instructors in the HVAC sector.

The program was jointly supervised by Mrs. Deepa Liyanage, Secretary of the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation of Sri Lanka, and Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, Director General of CPSC. In addition, the program’s resources and logistics were facilitated by Dr. Steven McKee, President Emeritus of WorldDidac Association which is the largest international education industry association, and founder of Labtech International, together with Labtech Academy General Manager Mr. Brad Kerr.

Group photo of the participants

The program was opened by officials of CPSC and Labtech. In his opening speech, CPSC Director General Prof. Wickramasinghe welcomed the cooperation between CPSC and Labtech and pledged to bring this program to all CPSC member countries. He also welcomed the participants and wished them success in this program.

The program was opened by Prof. Wickramasinghe (left/top) and Dr. McKee (right/bottom). They provided a brief insight about the program to the participants.

Labtech International President Dr. Steve McKee also welcomed this cooperation and shared a glimpse of the program’s contents with the participants. He also emphasized the importance of adopting digital technologies in TVET and its emerging role in re-inventing TVET instruction, particularly in HVAC.

Mrs. Deepa Liyanage, the guest of honor and Secretary of the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation of Sri Lanka, was also invited to share her insights about the program. She is also the present Liaison Officer of Sri Lanka to the Colombo Plan Staff College.

The guest of honor of the program, Mrs. Deepa Liyanage, during her opening speech

In her speech, she mentioned the importance of TVET in fulfilling the economic plans of the Sri Lankan government. She emphasized the need to focus on human development through TVET in the country and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges in reinventing the traditional mode of instruction into a more modern approach. She also mentioned that the key dimensions of access and equity, quality, and relevance of TVET should also be in-line with focus areas of TVET such as technology and modernization, trainer training, demand responsiveness, work-based learning and accreditation, and certification. She also expressed her appreciation to the stakeholders of the program and wishes that Sri Lanka continues to gain opportunities in these virtual training.

Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Philippines, in her welcome speech

The program was also graced by the Chief Guest and the Ambassador of the Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka to the Philippines, H.E. Shobini Gunasekera. In her speech, she described the government of Sri Lanka’s plan to focus on skills development starting from 2021 to 2023. They also emphasized the importance of sustainable development and development of the new generation in spearheading faster and sustainable economic development in Sri Lanka. She saw the program as an opportunity for the country and the Colombo Plan Staff College to further cooperate in areas that will benefit the countries to achieve their economic targets, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The 4-day program covered various topics such as Digital TVET Framework and What is Virtual TVET; Understanding how to Adapt and Adopt Blended Learning; How to use a TVET LMS to Deliver Competency-Based Training; TVET LMS Reporting and Analytics; and Understanding the Technical Operation and Troubleshooting of new modern training system. The HVAC fundamentals such as electrical controls and components, instruments and meters, electric motors, and HVAC components were also introduced and discussed with the participants.

The participants were also taught how to incorporate their lesson plans using Virtual TVET and were awarded certificates of completion by Labtech and certified by Worlddidac after the course.