For the first time in nearly two years, the Colombo Plan Staff College once again welcomed international guests in its headquarters in Manila for the 5-day Customized Program on Quality-Assured TVET in Nepal and Industry-Institution Collaboration for Employability after the Covid -19 Pandemic.

The program was held in collaboration with the British Council-Nepal and the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). A total of 27 senior-level managers: composed of the principals of Nepal TVIs, policy makers and administrators of the CTEVT, were able to embark on this visit from August 22-26, 2022.

The program was designed to share insights on industry-institution collaboration in line with the British Council, Nepal funded grant project called Strengthening Employer Engagement in CTEVT Schools (SEECS). This program, contextualized in Nepal’s present needs, explores the phenomenon of institutional development and recognizes the necessary capabilities of a TVET institution to survive in the changing environment. There is a felt need for TVET institutions to change and it is important to launch new ways to adapt to it. A systematic approach to adjusting and transitioning technologies from their existing state to one that is considered superior is the call of the times.

After the program, the participants were expected to demonstrate a good understanding and awareness of the need for modifications in TVET management and governance to develop a quality-assured culture. They were also expected to identify the components of TVET for improvement to address and meet the requirements of industry, as well as the employability skills that today’s world of work need. They were also expected to promote the implementation of institution-industry collaboration to build a solid platform for change in the TVET system. They were also tasked to prepare an action plan for system development to ensure employability of graduates through industry linkages in TVET.

The program was supervised by Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, CPSC Director General. Overall coordination was delivered by Dr. Romulita Alto, CPSC Visiting Faculty Consultant. The academic requirements were delivered by various sources including Dr. Kesavan Ulaganathen (CPSC Governing Board- Engaged Faculty Consultant), Engr. Dr. Mian Khuram Ahsan (CPSC Senior Faculty Specialist), Dir. Maria Susan Dela Rama (Executive Director of TESDA Certification Office) and Fr. Jose Dindo Vitug (Executive Director of the Don Bosco Technical Institute)

Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, CPSC Director General (left) presenting CPSC’s Token of Appreciation to H.E. Betty Palaso (right), Ambassador of Papua New Guinea to the Philippines

The CPSC Governing Board Vice Chairperson and Ambassador of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, H.E. Betty Palaso graced the opening ceremony held on August 22, 2022.

Together with the CPSC team, Her Excellency welcomed the participants in the Philippines and cited the relevance of the program to the regional development of TVET. She also lauded CPSC for successfully conducting the training despite the limitations caused by Covid-19.

The CPSC Director General, Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, also underscored the importance of the training in developing Nepal’s TVET system and expressed his hopes that the lessons that the participants will gain from this training will be used to further contribute to Nepal’s progress.

During the five-day training, the participants were trained in the classroom on the following topics: institution-industry linkage concepts, benefits and models, quality assurance and accreditation in TVET, research and development of tracer Study in TVET, development of training needs and materials, training delivery methods and system development planning.

To enhance the classroom lessons, a visit to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the TESDA Women’s Center, as well as the Construction Manpower Development Corporation, were arranged for the program.

The participants during the classroom sessions.

Visit of the participants to TESDA Headquarters in Taguig City, Philippines.

Visit of the participants to Construction Manpower Development Company in Dasmarinas City, Province of Cavite.

To maximize their training experience in the Philippines, CPSC also arranged tours to Tagaytay City and Villa Escudero in Quezon province for them to be able to appreciate some of the key cultural focal points of the country. In addition, the delegation was billeted at EDSA Shangrila Hotel for the whole duration of the program to ensure their comfortable stay in the country.

The delegation at the lobby of EDSA Shangri-la Hotel

Overall, the program was able to meet its objectives and was able to imbibe additional knowledge on the promotion and successful implementation of institution-industry linkages in the TVET sector for its professionals. The participants were able to demonstrate a deeper understanding and more meaningful awareness of the needs of TVET management and governance as their contribution in building a quality-assured TVET in Nepal.