The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) in partnership with the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT)-Nepal and the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation, gathered 22 participants at the International Program on Sharing and Learning on National Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) held from March 6 to 10, 2017 at Mirabel Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal.
Representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand participated in the program. Experts from Australia, Scotland, South Korea and Switzerland also came to share their experiences in implementing skill testing systems and qualification.
The program was organized to emphasize the need to have a common understanding in assessing qualification standards within the region. The international platform proved to be a venue for sharing of best practices in designing, implementing and monitoring a national qualification framework initiative. The international event had been relevant in assessing the significance and impact of qualification standards and mechanisms to TVET particularly in actually improving enrollment, retention and employability of the trainees.
The participants were expected to be aware of various approaches and innovations on NVQs implemented by the member countries in TVET. The program ensured that the learnings that they have gained such as the best practices and models of NVQs in TVET would be shared and disseminated in their own countries for them to learn from or replicate. In addition, the countries will be able to explore the challenges and opportunities in developing NVQs through the guidance of the invited experts and academics from the NVQS development sector.
The program also included field visits to several Nepali TVET institutions such as the Banepa Polytechnic Institute and the Training Institute on Technical Instruction (TITI) on March 10.
The event was supervised by the heads of the three partner institutions namely Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, Director General of CPSC; Dr. Mr. Ramesh Kumar Bakhati, Acting Member Secretary of CTEVT and Mr. Devi Prasad Dahal, Team Leader of the Nepal Vocational Qualifications System Project implemented by Swisscontact.
Arrangements were facilitated by Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, CPSC Faculty Consultant and Chairman of the ICT Division. Local logistics were coordinated by Mr. Tek Bahadur Malla, Director of Technical Division, CTEVT who was assisted by Mr. Mohan Bahadur Karki, Senior Technical Officer of the same division of CTEVT. CPSC’s Finance Officer, Ms. Rosalinda Gonzales, assisted the implementation and preparation of the program.
During the closing ceremony, CTEVT Vice Chairperson Dr. Kul Bahadur Basnet expressed his gratitude to CPSC, CTEVT, Swisscontact and the Swiss Government for their assistance in making the program possible. He also communicated his sincere appreciation to the participants, staff and the personnel involved for making the program a success.
Likewise, Dr. Lamichhane affirmed the message of CTEVT and mentioned that the sharing of experiences “will be fruitful for Nepal and other countries which are making necessary preparations for NVQF”. He also expressed his positive hope that the event “will pave the way for successful TVET systems in the SAARC and the Asia-Pacific region”.
The 5-day event ended in good spirits as the countries which participated were expected to implement the lessons, recommendations and improvements gained for their own TVET systems during this program. It also inspired and motivated the participants, particularly those in Nepal, to explore new ways to align their TVET systems into a more modern and updated approach.
Another highlight of the 5-day program was the National Seminar that brought together senior faculty members and experts to discuss country cases and examples of NVQS implementation. This event was held at the same venue from March 8-9, 2017 and was divided into five sessions.
The seminar’s objectives were to: (1) Examine the issues and challenges in developing Qualifications Frameworks in the nation In-Country Programs al, regional and international levels, (2) Present tested models of conceptual frameworks and showcase different case studies, (3) Explore the challenges and opportunities in NVQs and (4) Exchange experiences and innovative practices in the development and implementation of National Qualifications Framework.
Some notable persons from CPSC’s roster of past professional staff were invited to the seminar to impart their knowledge and expertise on the subject. Among them were Prof. Dr. Man-Gon Park, first CPSC Director General and currently Professor of IT Convergence and Application Engineering at PuKyong National University, Busan, Korea; Prof. Pramod B. Shrestha, Ph.D, former Faculty Consultant and Professor at the Institute of Engineering in Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal; and Dr. Renato M. Sorolla, former CPSC Faculty Specialist and currently SUC President II of Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Speakers from other international organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Scottish Qualifications Authority; Technical and Further Education-Australia (TAFE); Kathmandu University, Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET), Sri Lanka; National Institute of Technical Teacher Training & Research (NITTTR), India; National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTCC) Pakistan and Rajamangala University of Technology-Lanna (RMUT-L) shared their insights on the topic.
The seminar succeeded in gathering the necessary information from those countries that are implementing and strengthening their qualification systems. It also opened opportunities for some countries to replicate or adopt the lessons with their own TVET systems.