Create system to ensure IBTE students get best of vocational education and training

I READ with interest the letter ‘IBTE committed to be TVET centre of excellence’ published in the Weekend Bulletin on March 30 about the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in contributing to our country’s economic growth and development.

However the Institute of Brunei Technical Education’s (IBTE) key performance indicators (KPIs) – (i) employment rate and (ii) employers’ satisfaction – is rather one-sided and insufficient.

Taking the hotel, restaurant and catering industry example, from one’s observation in past months, IBTE have their students placed at this hotel conjoined with a trendy café/restaurant that is quite popular among the locals and international tourists. I presume that IBTE students will gain a wide range of fundamental skills required for the industry via this work placement arrangement.

Upon completion, IBTE students will be able to work in hotel and food service capacities for a wide variety of companies and places of business domestically and internationally.

However, if the staff from the host organisations lack key competences required by the industry (ie, personal hygiene, self-initiative, accountability and responsibility, precision, rigour and attention to detail, immaculate customer services and communication skills), how would IBTE students know if they were performing their tasks correctly and professionally?

Staff at the host organisations must know that having rock music as background music during breakfast does not suit this particular restaurant’s ambience.

The staff at this particular restaurant must know that a butter knife is much more effective than a fork or a spoon to spread toasts with hard butter or for a full American breakfast.

How the management team could have missed the basics of table setting and the tell-tale signs of their below-par dining experience leaves a lot of questions.

On its own Facebook page, it is quite painful to see a customer spreading one’s toast with a spoon.

As per housekeeping, staff at the host organisations must know that there should be no shortcuts for hotel hygiene practices.

To that end, I would suggest IBTE to put in a system that measures the credentials and credibility of the host organisations, and to ensure that they are meeting the module intended learning outcomes and our students are getting the best out of the vocational education and training.

– Ed