OUTCOMES OF E-FORUM ON ‘MANAGING PANDEMIC CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF TVET IN THE ERA OF DIGITALISATION
SEAMEO VOCTECH, Brunei Darussalam (28 October, 2021) - In conjunction with the Centre’s 32nd Governing Board Meeting, an E-Forum on "Managing Pandemic Challenges and Opportunities of TVET in the Era of Digitalisation" was held on 28 October 2021. The E-Forum, held via zoom meeting and live-streamed on YouTube, was attended by approximately 1800 participants from across the region and beyond.
The event was officiated by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) Ministry of Education, Yang Mulia Dr. Chin Wei Keh who commended SEAMEO VOCTECH on the timely initiative to gather different TVET stakeholders together to share perspectives and strategies to address the impact of the pandemic, and to leverage on opportunities for digitalisation.
Centre Director, Alias bin Haji Abu Bakar, in his opening remarks encouraged the participants to view the forum as an investment in their personal development. He expressed confidence that the line-up of speakers from various key international agencies and member countries ensured participants would be rewarded with a wealth of information and insights on the theme of the forum.
Following this, the 1st keynote address was delivered by Dr. Brajesh Panth, Chief of Education Sector Group, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Philippines, on “Robust and Resilient TVET in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) World”. He highlighted the need for the Southeast Asian region to continue investing in strengthening literacy and numeracy as sound basics for more advanced Technical and Vocational education and training, in order to secure higher TVET standards and competence for greater employment mobility and sustainability.
In the 2nd keynote, YB Siti Rozaimeriyanty Hj Abd Rahman, chair of the Brunei chapter of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, spoke about an ASEAN legacy project titled “Harnessing Impact with Resilient Employability Digitally” (HIRED) which aims to provide opportunities for the young, unemployed and current workers to participate in upskilling and reskilling through online training and mentorship programmes.
The 3rd keynote speaker, Dr. Akiko Sakamoto, Skills Development and Employability Specialist, International Labor Organisation (ILO) for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Thailand, expounding on the topic “Preparing TVET for future skills to meet the demand of a changing world of work”, highlighted the need for every individual worker to be resilient and adaptive, and to develop digital and analytical skills to understand the labour market situation and developments in their labour market industry. She urged TVET institutions to also be adaptive as learning organisations.
In the 4th keynote presentation on “Initiatives in Advancing TVET in ASEAN’s New Norm: RECOTVET’s Perspectives”, Mr Ingo Imhoff, Programme Director, GIZ-RECOTVET, Germany enumerated the challenges faced by TVET providers in providing adequate equipment to create digital content, accessibility of the internet and upgrading of digital skills competency among TVET teachers. The increasing demand for a workforce highly skilled in carrying out complex tasks dictated by the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) makes it imperative for TVET institutions to keep abreast of the changing competence requirements by systematically upgrading the TVET ecosystem.
In the final keynote, Sarah Elson-Rogers from UNESCO-UNEVOC, Germany presented a project titled, “Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET” or BILT which is a global platform for partnership, dialogue and sharing innovative TVET practices, particularly on how to integrate competencies in TVET curriculum, with a focus on digitalisation and green skills.
Final panel at SEAMEO VOCTECH's latest E-Forum speaking on the “Industry Perspectives on Ensuring a Resilient TVET System During Pandemic and in the Era of Digitalisation”
In addition, three panel discussions involving representatives of SEAMEO member countries and the industry addressed the conference theme by focusing on national policies, institutional practices, and industry contribution to TVET in managing pandemic challenges and seizing opportunities of TVET in the era of digitalisation. The presentations of the final panel on “Industry Perspectives on Ensuring a Resilient TVET System During Pandemic and in the Era of Digitalisation” generated much interest in the technological solutions offered by industry players, as evident from the Question and Answer session.
The Forum ended with closing remarks from SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Dr. Ethel P. Valenzuela, who congratulated SEAMEO VOCTECH and the Governing Board for successfully conducting its 32nd Governing Board Meeting on 27 October 2021 and organising a very timely, relevant and responsive virtual E-Forum on 28 October 2021. She highlighted that the work of SEAMEO VOCTCEH has undoubtedly brought SEAMEO closer to its mission: to promote regional cooperation and understanding, and achieve the goal of ASEAN Integration.
In a participant survey on the E-Forum, the vast majority of respondents found the keynote presentations and panel discussions engaging, highly relevant and helpful. The conduct and outcomes of the E-Forum drew many positive, appreciative and congratulatory comments from both forum participants and speakers. There were also enquiries about the training programmes and services offered by the SEAMEO VOCTECH regional centre
The complete proceedings will be published in SEA-VET.NET in soon!