In partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippines and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education - Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH), the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) jointly conducted the In-Country Program for the Philippines on Leadership for the 21st Century from April 22 to 26, 2024 at the SEAMEO INNOTECH Center and CPSC headquarters in Metro Manila, Philippines. The program was participated by 30 TESDA Directors, Administrators, Chief TESD Specialists, and Supervising TESD Specialists.

The five-day training program was organized to share concepts, processes, and guidelines to incorporate within the good practices of leadership and management in TVET institutions. Participants were expected to develop their skills for leadership competencies, learn about the leadership strategies and mechanisms, and integrate these to their respective TVET institutes for the greater benefit of the TVET sector across the Philippines.

The program was supervised by CPSC Director General Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, and TESDA Director General Suharto T. Mangudadatu, PhD, together with CPSC Senior Faculty Specialist Engr. Dr. Mian Khuram Ahsan, Program Coordinator; and TESDA Chief Administrative Officer Ms. Carmelita S. Corbito, Local Program Coordinator.

CPSC Director General Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe (top left) and TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnership and Special Concerns Mr. Vidal D. Villanueva III (top right) inaugurate the opening ceremony, together with Chief Guest and SEAMEO INNOTECH Center Director Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones (bottom)

The inaugural ceremony was held at the SEAMEO INNOTECH Center, in Quezon City, Philippines and was attended by the program management and distinguished guests from the organizers. In his welcome speech, Prof. Wickramasinghe highlighted the significance of leadership in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Meanwhile, TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnership and Special Concerns Mr. Vidal D. Villanueva III, on behalf of the TESDA Director General Secretary Mangudadatu, welcomed the guests and TESDA participants who are deemed to be the future leaders in TVET.

Furthermore, Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, SEAMEO INNOTECH Center Director and the Chief Guest of the program, recalled in her opening remarks the leadership involvement she followed through from being the former Secretary of the Department of Education. She also briefly mentioned how leadership plays a crucial role in managing TVET institutions and providing a good education for TVET students, which she further elaborated in her presentation on Navigating the Future: Essential Leadership Skills for the 21st Century.

Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe (top) and TESDA Central Office Executive Director El Cid H. Castillo (bottom) present their special lectures

During the first day of the program, special lectures were given by Prof. Wickramasinghe and TESDA Central Office Executive Director El Cid H. Castillo where they have respectively discussed the following topics: Characteristics and Traits of Effective Leadership in TVET Management; and Emerging Challenges in TVET Leadership for the 21st Century. Prior to this, the participants visited the White Room Gallery and Knowledge Resource Center in SEAMEO INNOTECH.

Participants during the institutional visit at SEAMEO INNOTECH Center

Theme papers were also presented on the succeeding days of the program. Topics were focused on Human Resource Management as a skill in 21st Century; Research & Innovation Management in TVET institution; Effective Communication Skills for 21st Century Leaders; Leadership and QA in TVET for Continuous Improvement; Project Management Skills & Competencies for TVET leaders to attract Donors Funding; Integration of Competency-Based Curricula & Training in 21st Century; and Change Management: Enhancing Leadership and Achieving Organizational Excellence in TVET. Apart from this, workshops were thoroughly steered by Engr. Dr. Ahsan, along with CPSC Faculty Consultant Dr. Kesavan Ulaganathen.

Engr. Dr. Mian Khuram Ahsan (top left) and Dr. Kesavan Ulaganathen (top right) facilitate the workshops; TESDA Regional Director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr (middle right) and Project-Based Faculty Consultant Prof. Romulita C. Alto, Ed.D. (bottom right) during their lectures

The participants poured their individual and collaborative efforts throughout the five-day training program. This was immensely reflected during the closing ceremony wherein selected participants shared their learning experiences and expressed their gratitude to CPSC, SEAMEO INNOTECH, and TESDA for organizing such training. Afterwards, participants were conferred with certificates of recognition while Engr. Dr. Ahsan acknowledged in his vote of thanks the enthusiastic participation of the participants during the lectures and workshops.

+ P a r a g r a p h t e x t h e r e +In conclusion, Prof. Wickramasinghe extended his congratulations to the participants for the successful completion, including TESDA and SEAMEO INNOTECH for partnering with CPSC in providing an extensive training program focusing on leadership skills. DDG Villanueva also delivered a closing remark in which he hoped that the program had helped the participants to gain learnings on leadership that aligns with the direction of TESDA and of the nation.

Group photo of the participants at the closing ceremony