SOME 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), represented the Philippines at a two-day Southeast Asian polytechnic network meeting, which concluded on March 27.
The 5th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Polytechnic Network Meeting, a conference on technical and vocational education and training (TVET), was convened at Ipoh, the capital city of the state of Perak, in Malaysia.
With the SEAMEO Secretariat as co-organizer, Malaysia's Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education under the Ministry of Education and the Politeknik Ungku Omar hosted the conference.
SEAMEO promotes TVET among learners and their parents through more visible investments in the field and improvement of the curricula's relevance to focus on creativity and innovation.
The SEAMEO Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers agreed that TVET in the Southeast Asian region could 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.
According to SEAMEO, the annual meeting serves as a platform for technical-vocational institutions to discuss and collaborate in the implementation of the cross-country TVET student exchange program.
SEAMEO said the program, which is currently on its fourth offering, aims to enhance the internationalization and partnership of TVET institutions and promote global competitiveness and 21st century skills of technical-vocational students in Southeast Asia.
Officials of the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) also joined the said conference.
Leah Lyn Domingo, SEARCA public relations specialist, said that organization had been actively supporting TVET since it was tapped by SEAMEO to lead research on competency certification for agricultural workers in Southeast Asia to promote TVET in agriculture.
This year's Philippine delegation included 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.