In its continuous efforts to spearhead TVET development in its network of member countries, the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC), in collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), Ministry of Education, Government of the Republic of Maldives, Male', Maldives conducted an In-Country Program on "Strategies for the Promotion of TVET" at the Civil Services Training Institute, Male' from April 5-9, 2015.
The program contributed in raising the level of awareness and inducted the practicing principals and faculty members of TVET institutions on the different strategies for promotion of TVET systems for purposes of augmenting the efforts of TVET Authority. The program enhanced understanding and strengthened capacity towards promotion of TVET techniques of the 24 administrators, heads of department and teachers involved in undertaking campaigns for TVET institutions of Maldives.
The CPSC Director General, Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub managed overall supervision of the program as Program Supervisor of the ICP. Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, CPSC Faculty Consultant, on the other hand, handled the overall conduct of the program as Program Coordinator and Resource Person along with Local Program Coordinator and Resource Person Ms. Aminath Asra, Director, TVETA and Maldives Qualifications Authority (MQA), Ministry of Education (MoE). Local expertise and perspectives was made possible through the expertise of Ms. Fathimath Sofiya Rasheed, Dhasvaaru Program Coordinator, Ministry of Education (MoE).
Dr. Abdul Hannan Waheed, Chief Executive Officer, MQA, was present as Chief Guest during the inaugural program on April 5, 2015. He highlighted the relationship between Maldives and CPSC and mentioned that he was elated to attend the inaugural program of CPSC and expressed his wish that more similar programs may be arranged by CPSC to benefit many more educators in the field of TVET. He expressed his interest that some of the TVET institutions in Maldives should get in touch with the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) and take advantage of the benefits of international accreditation.
During the opening program, Prof. Dr. G. Kulanthaivel highlighted the activities of CPSC and gave a brief orientation of the program. In response, Ms. Aminath Asra mentioned that TVETA, since its establishment in 2006, has been working closely with CPSC, so she thanked CPSC for the numerous opportunities it has extended in providing various kinds of training programs to support the country's TVET system. In line with this, TVETA's training programs have become the Ministry of Education's top priority. This has resulted to a widened population reach, a tremendous increase in the TVET trained Maldivian youth and an improvement in skills-job match.
The topics discussed during the program revolved around the following: 1) Promotion of TVET System: Mechanisms and Management Concepts, 2) Experiences and Strategic Directions for Promotion of TVET Systems in Maldives, 3) ICT Skills for Teaching and Learning in TVET Systems, 4) Accreditation and Certification of TVET Institutions through APACC process for Quality Assurance, and 5) Strategic Planning Framework for improvement of TVET Systems.
A value-added component of the program was a study visit held at the Four Seasons Resorts Hospitality Apprenticeships, Kuda Huraa, Maldives on April 7, 2015.
In further updating the participants on TVET trends, a National Seminar on "Innovative Practices and Strategies for Improving Capacity of the TVET Systems in Maldives" was organized in the same venue on April 8, 2015. The seminar was organized to provide timely opportunity to share knowledge and experiences on the promotion of capacity of TVET systems in Maldives, lessons learned and challenges. Enthusiastic exchange of ideas among the academic and the practitioner fraternity transpired during the seminar in view of framing suitable recommendations for implementation by the TVET sector of Maldives. The program was attended by 58 participants coming from all parts of the country.
As a special guest of the seminar, Mr. Azleen Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Education, MoE, mentioned that he was very happy to be in such a special international event and delivered a talk on "Status of National Human Resource Planning with Special Focus on Skilled Manpower: Achievements, Lessons Learned and Challenges" during the first session on "Emerging Challenges of Meeting Skill Power Needs through TVET in Maldives". Another Resource Speaker for the same session, namely, Ms. Aminath Asra discussed the topic on "Current Policies, Initiatives and Practices in Popularizing TVET in Maldives".
The first session tackled major challenges posed to TVET which include shortage of skilled workers despite problems of unemployment; rapid changes in technology, marketing, workers' demographic profile; policy changes; labor market needs versus labor laws; demand for and supply of labor, etc. In addressing said issues, the government of Maldives through its MoE formed required government agencies accordingly; the first National Training Needs Analysis was held; proper linkage among all government agencies was ensured towards successful human resources planning (HRP) and a target to establish a world class polytechnic, among many others.
The second session which pertained to "Improving the Capacity of the TVE Systems in Maldives: Strategies & Implementation", had Mr. Anil Adam, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies from The Maldives National University, Maldives as speaker and delivered his paper on "Innovation in Promotion of Job Focused Skilled Training to Rural Areas". Dr. Kulanthaivel also shared his expertise on "ICT as a Tool: Increasing the Reach and Capacity of TVET through ICT in Maldives".
Mr. Adam Shareef, Minister of State for Education, Republic of Maldives graced the closing ceremony on April 9, 2015 and thanked the CPSC DG and Faculty for arranging such an international program and creating a resounding impact for the enhancement of TVET throughout the nation. He believed that the ICP provided not only essential knowledge to the participants but also a great extent of fresher opportunity in carrying out TVET mandates. The Minister provided the honor of distributing the certificates of completion to all the participants.