Competency standards pushed for ASEAN agri workers

  • 29 May 2017, Monday

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture has proposed a project to set competency standards for Association of Southeast Asian Nations agricultural workers during a conference held in Malaysia recently.

Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., director of the Philippine-hosted SEARCA, presented the concept at the 3rd High Officials Meeting on Southeast Asia-Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

The meeting was convened by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization and the Brunei-based SEAMEO Regional Center for Vocational and Technical Education.

With about 450 million people depending on it for livelihood, food, and trade agriculture remains the backbone of most Southeast Asian economies, Saguiguit told attendees of the high-level meeting attended by officials of the Malaysian government.

Thus, he said there is a need to develop competencies of agricultural workers in light of their important role in raising farm productivity and contribution to food and nutrition security as well as poverty alleviation in the ASEAN region.

"The proposed project aims to assess the development of competency standards for agricultural workers based on the Regional Model for Competency Standards in Agriculture and Aquaculture developed by the International Labor Organization," Saguiguit told Manila Standard.

He added that the project will also assess the current situation of ASEAN Member States in developing such competency standards to identify gaps, challenges, and recommendations for action of the ASEAN Secretariat, SEAMEO, and the concerned AMS.

The meeting was a gathering of secretary-generals on TVET of ministries of education, labor and training, science and technology, and higher education as well as policymakers and directors of TVET institutions from Southeast Asian countries, along with officials of international development agencies.

The participants also set out to chart regional policy directions and strategies to advance and harmonize TVET education to meet the labor demands of the ASEAN region.