Towards the Advancement of TVET in South East Asia and Beyond
The establishment of the Southeast Asian Organization of Ministers of Education (SEAMEO) in 1963 aimed to promote cooperation in the fields of education, science and culture. In addition, it serves as a regional intergovernmental organization among the governments of Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia has 26 SEAMEO centers whose various activities focus on training as well as research in the fields of education, science and culture.
The SEAMEO Regional Center for Vocational and Technical Education and Training (SEAMEO Voctech) was established in Brunei Darussalam on August 28, 1990 and stands among the SEAMEO centers.
In an interview with the Bulletin, the Deputy Director of Administration of SEAMEO Voctech, Pengiran Haji Mohd Sufri bin Pengiran Ali, said that, in accordance with its establishment, SEAMEO Voctech has been mandated to help other SEAMEO member countries identify and to solve common problems in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
According to the Deputy Director, SEAMEO Voctech is committed to achieving its mandate, guided by its vision to be a leading regional center in promoting TVET for South East Asia and beyond.
At the same time, SEAMEO Voctech is also committed to fulfilling its mission of helping SEAMEO member states to advance their TVET systems by providing relevant and effective programs and services for the sustainable development of the region.
Continuing his role in promoting TVET, Pengiran Haji Mohd Sufri explained that SEAMEO Voctech was designed and tasked to assist and improve the TVET systems of SEAMEO member countries through innovative services.
“Among the three main services offered by SEAMEO Voctech are training and professional development, research and consultancy services, and knowledge management and sharing,” he added.
In the fields of training and professional development, SEAMEO Voctech believes that it is vital to provide and promote quality technical and vocational education as well as training. Therefore, the center offers four categories of training services by organizing regional, national, personalized and special training programs in the areas of curriculum development, management, teacher training, teaching technologies. information and communication, research and vocational training. These programs are often carried out in collaboration with the partners SEAMEO Voctech or SEAMEO.
In the areas of research and development, SEAMEO Voctech prides itself on its expertise in research and research advisory services with the main objective of improving the quality of TVET in the region. The research program is an important and integrated element in the function of SEAMEO Voctech as an international organization.
For knowledge management and sharing, the center also provides information services and disseminates information through print, digital and online channels to reach the growing number of TVET clients in the region and beyond. beyond through its newsletter, social media, website, electronic library. and SEA-VE.Net.
Beyond excellence in research, consulting and training, SEAMEO Voctech also plays its societal role as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, especially when the country has been affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiatives aim not only to ease the burden on those affected by the pandemic, but also on students severely affected and had to continue their education through e-learning.
To this end, in addition to putting their basic services online, for example in the conduct of the training program of SEAMEO Voctech, SEAMEO Voctech has also actively participated in a CSR initiative showing its commitment and dedication as well as its solidarity responding to the national call to alleviate some of the challenges facing the education sector as a result of the pandemic.
One of the initiatives is to bridge the needy students in the country in terms of digital divide and disparity by donating SIM cards and internet recharge cards for continued internet accessibility.
In another CSR initiative, SEAMEO Voctech provided staff with recycled digital services such as desktops and laptops to help support their children’s online learning.
Meanwhile, seeing the development of TVET amid the demand of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), the Deputy Director of Professional Affairs of SEAMEO Voctech, said Dr Paryono with the aim of improving the workforce skills in the post-pandemic era and for SEAMEO With the aim of Voctech to achieve its five-year development plan in “Preparing TVET for Industry 4.0”, the center continues to strengthen its services to support the development of TVET in Brunei Darussalam and the region.
This meets the requirements of IR4.0 in particular through three main objectives: training and professional development; research and advice; as well as knowledge management and sharing.
“As part of training and professional development, SEAMEO Voctech provides capacity building to TVET trainers and academics in SEAMEO member countries and beyond to identify and address common issues in the field. ‘TVET through training and development initiatives on topics related to IR4.0.
According to Dr Paryono, in collaboration with GIZ-RECOTVET, the center has offered three themes of training programs over the past two years. These include innovative teaching and learning for industrial changes due to RI 4.0; professional development training for TVET teachers in IR 4.0; and curriculum design for IR 4.0 work processes.
“Together with the Institute of Technical Education Services (ITEES) Singapore and the Temasek Foundation Singapore, we are organizing the third round of training programs,” he said. “For this third cycle, we are offering four training programs around IR4.0 themes namely: an online leadership training workshop for TVET leaders; skills upgrading course for TVET specialists in IR 4.0 on robotics and intelligent systems; food processing and technology; and hotel management with IR 4.0 ”,
“In the meantime, in the field of research and development, SEAMEO Voctech in collaboration with researchers from SEAMEO member countries representing the ministries in charge of TVET and the SEAMEO centers are carrying out research on the institutional preparation of TVET for RI 4.0.
“In terms of information and knowledge management and sharing, the center brings together the main TVET actors to discuss relevant TVET issues through various seminars, forums, conferences and meetings.
He noted that a recent event was an E-Forum on the theme “Addressing the Pandemic Challenges and Opportunities of TVET in the Age of Digitization”.
“Most importantly, SEAMEO Voctech and its partner GIZ-RECOTVET have developed a one-stop TVET platform (SEA-VET.net) which is gaining more and more ground in terms of the use and recognition of share of TVET providers, learners and researchers regionally and internationally. One of the features of these platforms is IR 4.0 and digitization.
“In preparing TVET for RI 4.0, SEAMEO Voctech continues to engage with the global TVET community to understand the changing economy and industry, to ensure that its practices reflect new market demands and that the center’s services comply with these requirements, ”Dr Paryono added.
Strengthening the impact of the center for young professionals, especially those with professional or technical careers with little knowledge or knowledge about the creation and functions of SEAMEO Voctech, Dr Paryono explained that the center continues to socialize its programs and services, in particular using social media. platforms.
Dr Paryono also indicated that SEAMEO Voctech will continue to work with TVET providers locally and in the region, for example in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE), to identify and deliver training services aligned with the industry and deliver training programs that reach a wider community. by collaborating with the Center for Lifelong Learning (L3C), as with industry players through the training of trainers (TOT) and the training of accessors (TOA) and by offering online and in-person training programs and uploaded to the SEA-VET.Net platform.
Sharing SEAMEO Voctech’s future plans and strategic initiatives, Dr Paryono explained that SEAMEO Voctech’s future plans for the development of education in Southeast Asian countries include forward-looking innovations that could reshape the region in a post-COVID world and optimize the present of digitization and IR4.0.
“Online learning will be further enhanced as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies in education create an official computer-generated world with the potential to help enhance the experience of learning, ”said Dr Paryono.
“With this in mind, SEAMEO Voctech’s future plan is to offer theoretical and practical courses by integrating innovative strategies and technologies such as simulation, augmented reality and virtual reality into its learning platform. To this end, SEAMEO Voctech recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoA) with its strategic partner, Labtech International Ltd and an agreement with ADE Finland, ”he added.