by Dr. Rolf Gennrich
Government officials, representatives from national and international organisations, and TVET experts from 12 countries were invited by SEAMEO Secretariat, the Office of Vocational Education Commission, Ministry of Education Thailand, and the British Council to attend the “High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET” at Shangri-La Chiang Mai Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand from August 24 to 26. The High Officials Meeting (HOM) on SEA-TVET included representatives in the area of technical and vocational education and training from eight ASEAN member countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand, as well as representatives from partner countries like Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and China.
National and international TVET development agencies, including UNESCO, USAID, GIZ and the Regional Vocational Teacher Education Association (RAVTE) were invited to share best practices and to deepen efforts in co-operating towards harmonisation and internationalisation in TVET sector. The meeting also determined policy directions for TVET development and collaboration in Southeast Asia, and identified a strategic framework and priority areas for development, especially for the prospect of harmonisation and internationalisation of TVET.
In connection with this, the High Officials approved the “Chiang Mai Joint Statement on Harmonisation and Internationalisation of TVET in Southeast Asia” which addresses seven key areas and strategies for cooperation to promote harmonisation and internationalisation of TVET in Southeast Asian region. This joint statement was recommended and agreed to by the TVET Directors-General and official TVET representatives from eight SEAMEO Member Countries at the High Officials Round Table Meeting, scheduled on 25 August 2015.
The representatives from Regional Association of Vocational Teacher Education (RAVTE) were invited on this esteemed occasion to share with the audience RAVTE’s vision for sustainable TVET development. The clearly defined agenda: “RAVTE Five Point Plan on TVET Improvement for AEC” aims to,
- Enhance regional ownership, cooperation and internationalisation
- Reduce high complexity and increase alignment and consistency of TVET
- Promote capacity development, innovation and research in TVET
- Secure labour demand –driven policies and partnership in TVET, and
- Sustain TVET budgeting, financial structures and mechanism.
During the meetings and in informal talks at this three day conference numerous in-person meetings were held in order to deepen cooperation with relevant institutions like SEAMEO VOCTECH, OVEC, USAID and RECOTVET a German funded project, managed by GIZ.
GIZ was also the sponsor of the former Regional Cooperation Platform Project (RCP), from which RAVTE later emerged to continue the GIZ focus on enhancement of TVET in SE Asia.
RAVTE with its network of institutions and experts involved in TVET throughout Southeast Asia will be honoured to assist with any kind of cooperation and organisation in order to implement these challenging and responsible tasks. RAVTE sees its role as supporting the AEC on its way to successfully achieve what its founders solemnly stated: that ASEAN will become a “politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly people-centered and rules-based community”.