About High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET: “Working Together towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation”
This year of 2015 marks the beginning of full implementation of initiatives under ASEAN Integration, in which some relate to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), such as human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; and integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing. This eventually will increase rapid movement of trade and investment, as well as an increasing mobility of people across the region.
At the ministerial level, there were few meetings relevant to the proliferation and enhancement of TVET. During the SEAMEO Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers, (SDEM) attended by education ministers and high-level education leaders from the 10 SEAMEO-member countries in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 13th September 2014, the meeting proposed seven priority areas of SEAMEO 2015-2035. Among the 7 priority areas, promoting TVET was one of them, specifically aimed at promoting technical and vocational education and training 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 recent Education Ministerial Round Table meeting in Pattaya, Thailand, on 8th May 2015, emphasised the utilization of 21 SEAMEO Centres as a mechanism in implementing the seven priority areas at the national, regional and beyond, and synergizing with ASEAN.
At the national level, we have witnessed the importance of industry as a crucial factor for the economic growth in which most Southeast Asian (SEA) countries have become more industrialised; there have been dramatically increases in the demands for skilled manpower. Importantly, TVET is taken into account for all countries in order to effectively prepare qualified manpower in response to this rapid growth of industry and its needs.
The framework for TVET management and development in SEA countries may vary. This heavily depends upon the country's industrial needs. The TVET implementation involves various features, including; education and training approaches, resource administration and management, curriculum and syllabus designs, relevant technologies, and industry collaboration. It is necessary to ensure that TVET systems have a prospective direction to effectively deal with those aspects.
In response to the above issues and challenges, harmonising and internationalising of TVET in the Southeast Asian region are seen as the important steps toward the quality improvement and competency development for TVET which will ultimately support the regional integration objectives.
Realising the importance of tackling the above issues, the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Ministry of Education Thailand as a major organisation providing TVET in Thailand, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat (SEAMEO Secretariat), and the British Council, agree to organize a High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET on Working Together towards Harmonisation and Internationalisation. This meeting will determine directions of SEA-TVET development as well as to promote collaboration for the effectiveness of vocational manpower internationally.
- To strengthen the network among TVET national policymakers and practitioners in the Southeast Asian region to synergize efforts for ASEAN Integration.
- To prioritise TVET areas of development and strategies especially with respect to harmonisation and internationalisation.