Call for collaborative efforts to strengthen TVET

James Kon

With countries around the world and across the region putting more emphasis on TVET for social and economic development, there are higher expectations for Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training (SEAMEO Voctech) to fulfil its mandate in assisting member countries to identify and solve common problems in TVET, said Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh.

“At the same time, it is getting more challenging due to the uneven economic development of member states as well as the unprecedented changes brought about by technological advancements,” she said.

The deputy minister was speaking in her capacity as guest of honour yesterday at the opening of SEAMEO Voctech’s 30th Governing Board Meeting (GBM) and the second round of the Technical Skills Upgrading Programme for TVET Teachers and Trainers in Southeast Asia in collaboration with Temasek Foundation and ITE Education Services (ITEES) Singapore.

“With this in mind, it is important that SEAMEO Voctech provides the expertise and services that will not only meet the needs of individual countries but to bring about positive development and enhancement of regional TVET systems in the medium and long-term, as a whole,” she said.

“All this is achievable with proper planning and strategies in place and July 1 was the start of the centre’s 6th Five-Year Development Plan carrying the theme ‘Preparing TVET for Industry 4.0’. This theme is very timely, considering the need for new skillsets in the workforce, such as generic skills, as well as higher order cognitive functions in response to Industry 4.0 requirements.” The deputy minister also urged the governing board members of SEAMEO Voctech to provide continuous guidance, support and direction, in order to achieve its vision of becoming ‘A Globally Recognised Regional Centre of Excellence in TVET’.

She said, “I am also glad to know that SEAMEO Voctech has embarked on a regional knowledge platform known as SEA-VET.net, with the collaboration of GIZ-RECOTVET. This is an online platform that will fill the current gaps in the region by providing practitioners and policymakers an avenue for improvement and regional harmonisation of TVET across boundaries. The platform allows online facilitation of teaching and learning, exchange of knowledge and joint action on TVET policies, sharing of data and research findings.

“Such collaborative efforts are vital to strengthening and harmonising TVET in the ASEAN region, especially considering the important role of TVET in the socio-economic development of a nation. As we gear up to face globalisation, let us continue to work together to realise our regional common development goals.”

Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah officiates the event. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI