In addressing the impacts of technological advancements to organizational management in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), Sri Lanka currently embarks on technical education reforms and realigns them to the current policies and curricula of its TVET institutes. With this, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) together with the Skills Development & Vocational Sector of the Ministry of Education (MoE) Sri Lanka and the University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC), have recently completed its five-day In-Country Program on Leadership and Management of TVET Institute. The training program was held from December 11 to 15, 2023 at the UNIVOTEC campus in Rathmalana, Sri Lanka, and was participated by 35 TVET practitioners across the country.

This program was essentially designed to impart leadership and management concepts, processes, and guidelines and incorporate these with the existing knowledge, policies, and good practices within Sri Lanka’s TVET institutions. The participants were also expected to understand global strategies and develop an effective project plan for leadership and management.

The program was jointly supervised by Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, CPSC Director General; Ms. Muditha Malkanthi, Additional Secretary of Vocational Training in MoE Sri Lanka; and Prof. Mahesh C. Edirisinghe, UNIVOTEC Vice Chancellor. Meanwhile, CPSC Senior Faculty Specialist Engr. Dr. Mian Khuram Ahsan served as one of the Program Coordinators, together with Mr. Helawikum Athauda Senevirathne, Dean of the UNIVOTEC Faculty; and Ms. Malkanthi Thenabadu, Senior Lecturer Gr. II in the Department of Agricultural and Food Technology, UNIVOTEC. The training program was overall facilitated by both CPSC and UNIVOTEC, including Dr. Hewage Chithral Ambawatte from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ruhuna; and Prof. Romulita C. Alto, Ed.D., CPSC Faculty Consultant, who served as additional resource persons.

(From left to right) Program Supervisors Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, UNIVOTEC Vice Chancellor Prof. Mahesh C. Edirisinghe, and Additional Secretary (Vocational Training) Ms. Muditha Malkanthi, together with Program Coordinator, Engr. Dr. Mian Khuram Ahsan

Prof. Edirisinghe (left) and UNIVOTEC Dean Mr. Helawikum Athauda Senevirathne (right) impart their welcome remarks

The opening ceremony was inaugurated by Prof. Edirisinghe and Mr. Senevirathne as they welcomed the participants and guests. They also expressed their gratitude to UNIVOTEC, MoE Sri Lanka, and CPSC for the efforts made in the successful implementation of the training program. Special lectures from Prof. Wickramasinghe and Prof. Edirisinghe were delivered after the inaugural ceremony in which they discussed key topics on Development, Issues, and Challenges for Global Leadership & Management in TVET; and Navigating Change: Adaptive Leadership in TVET Institute, respectively. Meanwhile, three workshops were facilitated by Engr. Dr. Ahsan, following the topics on TVET Institute Management Issues & its Technical Analysis In Sri Lanka; TVET institutional Best Practices with Brand Concept Management; and Identify and Analyze Technological Gaps Through Critical Analysis. The program also included the presentation of theme papers that focused on topics related to leadership and organizational management in the 21st century TVET.

Prof. Wickramasinghe (left) and Prof. Edirisinghe (right) deliver their special lectures

Participants during the sessions

As part of the program, UNIVOTEC hosted the 7th International Research Symposium on Emerging Technologies and Skills for Resilient Industries which was consequently held on December 14, 2023. This was joined by the participants to gain insights regarding the possible applications and impacts of technological advancements in various industries, including TVET.

The Symposium also gathered scholars, researchers, academics, practitioners, and students from universities, colleges, institutes and organizations across Sri Lanka to share their expertises and experiences in building resilient industries that can adapt to global changes and challenges. A set of themes were covered as follows: Resilient Industries for Sustainable Future; Innovative Approaches for Resilient Technological Solutions; ICT Towards Resilience: Harnessing Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development; Education and Language Studies: Transformative and Innovative Pedagogies and Language Learning for Resilient Learning; and TVET Skills and Competencies for Resilient Workforce Development.

Promotional Banner of the International Research Symposium 2023

During the last day, an Industry Seminar and Networking was conducted, following the theme on Skill Connect: Bridging Futures in the TVET Sector. There was also a panel discussion composed of TVET practitioners coming from TVET institutions in Sri Lanka that wrapped up the five-day training program. The panel discussion served as a platform for the resource persons and participants to reflect and share what they have learned throughout the program. It was then concluded with the closing ceremony led by Prof. Edirisinghe and wherein participants received certificates of participation.

Keynote speakers facilitate Industry Seminar (left); Awarding of certificate to Engr. Dr. Ahsan (right)