IPOH, Malaysia—The Philippines was represented by 36 higher education executives from 17 state universities and colleges and four private universities as well as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) at a Southeast Asian conference on technical and vocation education and training (TVET) convened here by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) last March 26-27.
SEAMEO is promoting TVET among learners and their parents through more visible investments in the field, and improving relevance of the curricula to focus on creativity and innovation. The SEAMEO Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (SDEM) also agreed that TVET in the region can be enhanced through the development of a regional policy framework for labor, skills and learner mobility.
TESDA is the lead TVET institution in the Philippines, with various vocational schools and state colleges and universities offering TVET courses.
Meeting participants also included officials from the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), which has been actively supporting TVET since it was tapped by SEAMEO to lead a research on competency certification for agricultural workers in Southeast Asia to promote TVET in agriculture.
The 5th SEAMEO Polytechnic Network Meeting that concluded yesterday was hosted by Malaysia's Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education under the Ministry of Education and the Politeknik Ungku Omar, with the SEAMEO Secretariat as co-organizer.
The annual meeting serves as a platform for TVET institutions to discuss and collaborate in the implementation of the cross-country TVET student exchange program. Currently on its fourth offering, the program aims to enhance the internationalization and partnership of TVET institutions and promote global competitiveness and 21st century skills of TVET students in Southeast Asia.
The Philippine delegation to this year's meeting were officials of Bicol State College of Applied Science and Technology, Bulacan State University, Camarines Norte State College, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Central Luzon State University, Central Mindanao University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Guimaras State College, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Lyceum Northwestern University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindoro State College of Agriculture of Technology, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Pangasinan State University, President Ramon Magsaysay State University, Saint Louis University, Tarlac Agricultural University, Trimex Colleges Inc., University of Mindanao, and University of the Immaculate Conception.