In collaboration with Labtech International Ltd. and the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR) Bhutan, the Colombo Plan Staff College successfully held an online In-Country Program on Training of Trainers on Automotive Technology on Virtual TVET from February 14-17, 2022. A total of 20 Bhutanese instructors participated in the program.

Similar to the programs previously held in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Fiji, this course focuses on topics related to the introduction to automotive systems such as basic engine fundamentals, electricity, and electronics, braking systems, wheels and drive systems, steering and suspension systems. It also goes into developing the students’ knowledge and skills, leading to more advanced studies such as petrol and diesel fuel, systems, engine management, transmissions, and hybrid vehicles.

The program was supervised by the CPSC Director General, Prof. G.L.D.Wickramasinghe, and the President of Labtech International Ltd., Dr. Steven McKee, In addition, the program was also managed by Bhutanese officials, particularly the Secretary for the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR), Dasho Tashi Wangmo, and the Deputy Chief Program Officer at the Department of Technical Education in the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, Mr. Karma Dorji. The General Manager of Labtech Academy, Mr. Brad Ker, delivered the program resources and managed the participant outputs. The program also involved the expertise of several Malaysian officials from the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn- Malaysia (UTHM). Some of the program’s lectures were delivered by the Head of the HM-LABTECH Digital Innovation Center (DICE), Ts. Dr. Affero Ismail and the Deputy Head of DICE, Mr. Shahrir Shafiek.

The 4-day training was formally opened on February 14, 2022 and was opened by the esteemed officials and program supervisors from CPSC, MoLHR and Labtech namely: Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, Dr. Steven McKee and Dasho Tashi Wangmo.

Guests of honor during their respective opening addresses (clockwise from top left): Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, Director General of CPSC; Mr. Steven McKee, President of Labtech and Dasho Tashi Wangmo, Honorable Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR), Bhutan.

In his speech, Prof. Wickramasinghe briefed the program participants about the benefits of this in-country program and wished for its usefulness in the economic recovery of the country post-Covid. Dr. Steven McKee, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation to CPSC and Bhutan for accommodating this program and wished for a successful training. He also reiterated the support of Labtech in the skills development of CPSC member countries by introducing virtual means of instruction to further adapt to the changing education landscape.

Meanwhile, Dasho Tashi Wangmo briefed the participants about the challenges faced by Bhutan during the Covid-19 pandemic and the plans of their Ministry to provide a sustainable and effective learning environment for all Bhutanese citizens. She also expressed her appreciation to both CPSC and Labtech for their efforts to conduct the training despite the challenges of online instruction.

Simulation of the Virtual TVET in Automotive Instruction as delivered by Mr. Shahrir Shafiek, Deputy Head of the UTHM-LABTECH Digital Innovation Centre (DICE)

Introduction slide of Hon. Lyonpo Karma Dorji, Minister, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and Chief Guest of the Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony was held on February 17, 2022. In addition to the guests during the opening ceremony, the organizers also invited the Minister of the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, Honorable Lyonpo Karma Dorji, as the Chief Guest. He expressed his congratulations to the participants of the program, as well as his wishes for the future of TVET in Bhutan and its continued contribution to the country’s economic and social development.