Exploring bilateral partnerships between Sri Lanka and the Philippines in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET)

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila together with the relevant stakeholders such as Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) in Manila, State Ministry of Skills Development & Vocational Education, Research & Innovations, Department of Technical Education & Training (DTET), Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC), National Apprentice & Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh, participated at a hybrid exploratory meeting conducted by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of the Philippines on 8th June 2022 at the TESDA Central Office in Taguig City.

The session was chaired by Ms. Sonia S. Lipio, Executive Director for Partnerships and Linkages of TESDA, and was also attended by several TESDA Executive Directors from the Certification Office, Qualification and Standards Office and Planning Office.

This meeting stemmed from the discussion Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera had with TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz on 3rd June 2022 at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila, for introducing a training program for the Sri Lankan migrant workers for better employability.

The objective was to explore possible avenues for cooperation with TESDA on upskilling/reskilling of Sri Lanka’s migrant labor force through technical vocational exchange and standardization qualification process. She also requested TESDA’s assistance on identifying skill gaps in Sri Lanka’s National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) with TESDA star rating system.

Ms. Deepa Liyanage, Secretary of the State Ministry of Skills Development & Vocational Education, Research & Innovations of Sri Lanka, and other officials of DTET, TVEC and NAITA, were keen to engage with TESDA to holistically develop the TVET system of the country.

Mr. Sanjeewa Pattiwila, Minister (Commercial) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh, gave an account of the recognition of TESDA qualifications for securing more job opportunities for the Sri Lankan work force in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East region with enhanced benefits.

Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, Director General of CPSC, pledged his support and assistance to practically implement an In-Country Program (ICP) for a preliminary mapping and identification of skill gap in Sri Lanka.

Both sides agreed to build on and reinforce synergies between TESDA and the concerned agencies in Sri Lanka with the assistance of CPSC in order to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation.

TESDA formulates manpower and skills plans, sets appropriate skills standards and tests, coordinates and monitors manpower policies and programs, and provides policy directions and guidelines for resource allocation for the TVET institutions in both the private and public sectors in the Philippines. It also implements programs geared towards quality assured and inclusive technical education and skills development and certification system.

Currently, Philippines is the inaugural Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council for 2020-2022, officially launched on 16th September 2020.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
13 June 2022