Marking the first collaborative venture in fulfillment of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), signed on October 3, 2014 the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC) with the Technical Vocational Schools and Associations of the Philippines (TEVSAPHIL), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and MinTVET (Mindanao TVET), successfully conducted the 3rd National Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Congress and International Conference on October 17, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao, Philippines.
The Congress and International Conference gathered more than 900 TVET leaders, trainers, workplace managers, industry stakeholders, TESDA officials, and other key players in TVET from all over the 17 regions of the Philippines and in the international scene. Plenary speakers and discussants delved on the issues, concerns and trends in technical education and skills development in the context of the following five major perspectives (1) Socio-economic (2) K to 12 and ASEAN Integration (3) Education governance (4) Entrepreneurship Education and (5) Global Environmental Challenges.
Key speakers representing the international cluster were mostly coming from CPSC with Faculty Consultants Dr. Hazrat Hussain highlighting the CPSC’s accreditation and certification services through his presentation titled APACC for Accreditation and Certification of TVET Institutions in Asia Pacific Region; Dr. G. Kulanthaivel espousing quality technical education in India through his paper Quest for Quality Technical Education – Initiatives in India; and Dr. Zulkifli Zakaria sharing about Malaysia’s education through his talk on Malaysia Education System: Pre-K and Beyond. Other key speakers from the international arena include Mr. Davy J. Goh, AUTODESK ASEAN Education Program Manager and Mr. Doug Nelson, Sales Manager, TestOut Asia Pacific and Africa. Also present was the Chief Executive Officer of TestOut, Utah Mr. Noel Vallejo.
Speakers coming from the national development cluster include: Atty. Teodoro Pascua, TESDA Deputy Director General, and CPSC Governing Board Chairman, who talked about TESDA's activities, Dr. Gaspar Gayona, Regional Director (Region 11), TESDA, who presented The Mindanao Situationer; Ms. Peachie Dioquino-Valera, Volunteer Climate Leader of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps., who forwarded advocacies on Climate Change Reality, Effects and Actions Needed Now; and Ms. Yvonne Flores, Intel Philippines, who imparted about Intel Capacity Building Towards Digital Citizens.
Atty. Pascua, shared updates on the major undertakings of TESDA to adequately meet the needs of the new breed of TVET graduates. He further said, calling out to TVET students, "skills is the next global currency...what we are doing is for you and all that will follow after you...nasa inyong mga kamay ang kinabukasan ng bansa (the future of this nation is in your hands)".
Col. Alejandro Escaño, Chairman and President of TEVSAPHIL in his welcome address, congratulated the people of the City of Davao for the progress fast happening in the city, for leading the way in disaster management and for always showing that Davao is truly proud of their rich culture---all due to the good governance by the Mayor of Davao City, Hon. Rodrigo Duterte.
Hon. Mayor Duterte on the other hand, through his representative City Councilor Mabel Acosta, congratulated the organizers for bringing the Congress to fruition. He commended the organizers, TVET organizations and schools in unwaveringly building the capacity of the Filipino workers for the global marketplace. He then encouraged them to continue "building a Filipino workforce that is at par with the bests in the ASEAN region towards providing a quality global workforce".
Dr. Irene Floro of MinTVET (Mindanao TVET) officially declared the formal opening of the program by welcoming all the participants, speakers, guests from Luzon, Visayas, other parts of Mindanao and the foreign delegates to the city and to the conference. She said that the program is expected to build the three "SHIPS" as among the goals of the congress--- FRIENDSHIP, FELLOWSHIP AND LEADERSHIP.
Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, CPSC Director General, through the CPSC faculty-staff delegates, conveyed his regrets to all partners for not being present in the event due to another prior program commitment overseas but sent his wishes of a successful congress and conference.
The event successfully achieved the following conference goals: Share ideas about the current and future plight of TVET amidst global trends and changes; Contribute opinions and ideas in plenary discussions for the formulation of TVET policy recommendations; Participate and gaining knowledge in the legislative agenda of the government in relation to TESD; understanding the implications of those legislative reform agenda to TESD; Build Network in TVET among leaders and key players for better work relationships in promoting and advocating for TVET Providers; and Engage in meaningful three Ships: Friendship, Fellowship, and Leadership in TVET.
A colorful display of the ethnic tribes of the Southern Mindanao culture of the Philippines was interspersed throughout the program through lively presentations of mob cultural dances, heartwarming singing of the chorale, duets and solo performances and playing of traditional ethnic musical instruments.
CPSC Staff namely, Arlene Cruz, RPID Officer and Adrienne Abril, Executive Secretary also attended the event. Some CPSC publications particularly, its latest publication "A Caring Hand for the Hands that Cared for us" and "Research in TVET Made Easy", including APACC brochures were put on display and distributed during the program.