September 5, 2018

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary and Director General Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong yesterday reiterated the TESDA proposal for the creation of the ASEAN TVET Development Council to facilitate the coordination of activities by the TVET sector in the ASEAN region.

In his keynote address at the opening program of the 4th High Officials Meeting (HOM) on SEA-TVET held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Secretary Mamondiong said the Council is envisioned to be the oversight and primary coordinating body for the TVET sector in the ASEAN.

“The faster the Council is established, the more intense it would be for regional collaboration to advance and strengthen TVET and sustain its increasing prominence in Southeast Asia.  We are pleased that the concept of the Council is slowly gaining traction in ASEAN circles,” he said.

Mamondiong said the hosting by the Philippines of the 4th SEA-TVET High Officials Meeting is an opportunity for regional TVET partners to position the ASEAN in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, a global technological phenomenon that affects labor, employment, and education.

But before this, he said the need to heighten the ASEAN peoples’ understanding of Industry 4.0 and its implications is compelling.

“Sooner or later, our countries and our region will feel the bulk of the impact of Industry 4.0. The creation of new jobs, the loss of old ones due to automation, the demand for higher-level skilled workforce – all these must be considered in our national, as well as regional, strategies to ensure that TVET remains vibrant, relevant and capable of producing globally-competitive skilled workers,” Mamondiong explained.

In a press conference shortly after the opening ceremonies, the Director General bared that the TESDA will soon hold a series of appreciation seminars for members of the media for them to understand Industry 4.0, and how TVET can help the government prepare and respond to its effects to workers and the economy.

“You cannot wait until a house burns down to buy fire insurance on it. We cannot wait until there are massive dislocations in our society to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Mamondiong said, citing Robert J. Schiller, the 2013 Nobel laureate in economics and currently a Yale University economics professor.

The theme of the 4th High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET is “Moving Together Towards TVET 4.0”. The meeting ran from 4 to 5 September, with the TESDA co-hosting the meeting with the Department of Education. The meeting was also co-organized by the South East Asia Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), together with its Centers, namely, SEAMEO Voc-Tech Regional Center, SEAMEO-Southeast Asian Regional Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the SEAMEO Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (Innotech).

The inaugural HOM on SEA-TVET was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 23-26 August 2015; the second was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 12-14 May 2016; and the third, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 23-25 May 2017.

Participants in the HOM on SEA-TVET were high officials of Ministries of Education; Labor and Employment; Science and Technology; and Higher Education. Representatives of development agencies and other partners outside the region also participated.

For the 4th HOM on SEA-TVET, around 180 representatives attended, including those from the media, ASEAN Secretariat, Deutcsche Gesselchhaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNESCO, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Regional Associatrion for Vocational and Technical Education in east and Southeast Asia (RAVTE) and the Asian Development Bank.