THE Governing Board of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training (SEAMEO VOCTECH) is currently convening in a three-day meeting (September 24-26) to assess the previous year’s activities and discuss the programmes and services for fiscal year 2014–2015 at the headquarters of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in Singapore.
The Governing Board is the policymaking body of SEAMEO VOCTECH represented by key education officials from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
During the opening formality of the 25th Governing Board Meeting, the guest of honour Bruce Poh Geok Huat, the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Institute of Technical Education in Singapore said, “Southeast Asian countries face a number of economic, social and security challenges. For one, the global economy appears to be losing its momentum. Any slowdown, we know, would impact each of our economies.”
He however suggested, “In a volatile and uncertain climate, it has become even more important for our Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to be nimble and responsive in preparing our people for the challenges of globalisation, technological and economic change.”
In the backdrop of its new 5th five-year development plan, which envisioned SEAMEO VOCTECH becoming “a globally recognised Regional Centre of Excellence in TVET”, the meeting will usher the centre to the commencement of its new Five-Year Development Plan,” according to Centre Director Sharifuddin Salleh.
“The agenda of the meeting will focus on the initiatives and the programmes and activities for the first fiscal year (of the 5th five-year development plan) which will set the foundation for the achievement of the strategic goals in the succeeding years of the plan,” he said.
Another backdrop of the meeting is the commencement of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, which envisions establishing a single market and production base and facilitating the movement of business persons, skilled labour and talents.
The AEC will basically influence the strategies in providing quality TVET as a main provider of skilled manpower both at the national and regional level and therefore, there is a need to redirect the programmes and services of SEAMEO VOCTECH, according to Governing Board Chairman Pg Dr Haji Md Esa Al-Islam bin Pg Haji Md Yunus.
In his message, read by Programme Officer Lotus Postrado, SEAMEO Secretariat Director Dr Witaya Jeradechakul commends the level of commitment of SEAMEO VOCTECH in its mandate of assisting the SEAMEO member countries to identify and solve common problems on technical and vocational education and training.
On the second day of the meeting, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN-China Centre and the Regional Association for Vocational Teachers Education together with the Governing Board members will share their current national and regional initiatives in TVET.