Bonn. 10 July 2012.
The Philippine Embassy in Berlin supported the conference on “Development Cooperation with the Private Sector in Vocational Training and Skills Development in the Philippines” on 09 July 2012 in Bonn, Germany.
The one-day conference was organized by the Don Bosco Mondo e.V., the Federation of Catholic Entrepreneurs BKU, and the AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation, in cooperation with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ GmbH), with the support of the Bank im Bistum Essen eG and the Embassy.
The conference gathered experts from the private sector in the Philippines to dialogue with German experts on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). The discussions touched on various aspects of introducing an effective and sustainable vocational education program in the Philippines, whose graduates possess the right skills and competencies needed by the business sector, especially in the light of the country’s ongoing K to 12 educational reform program.
Mr. Tom Pätz, Managing Director of GIZ, Ms. Kathrin Oellers of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Minister Mardomel Melicor of the Embassy welcomed the experts and participants to the conference. The latter emphasized the Embassy’s keen interest in enhancing vocational education in the Philippines and its full support for the conference.
Dr. Isagani R. Cruz, President of Manila Times College and Curriculum Adviser of the Steering Committee on the K to 12 Educational Reform Program, and Fr. Dr. Dionisio M. Miranda, President of the University of San Carlos, provided an overview of the Philippine education reform, and the efforts of private universities to provide vocational and business experience to their college students.
Mr. Gerry Sta. Ana and Mr. Philip N. Tan, representing the private sector and the chambers of commerce and industry, outlined their experiences in Cebu in initiating and sustaining vocational programs that are tailor-fitted to the changing needs of the business sector.
Dr. Torsten Klavs of F. Porsche AG shared the successful experience in vocational training the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA) in Makati. PTRCA operates a world class training program for Porsche mechanics in cooperation with the Don Bosco Technical Institute and PGA Cars.
It is the first Porsche training facility of its kind outside Germany, and its graduates meet all the skills and qualifications of a Porsche mechatronic automobile serviceman. Almost all graduates of PTRCA have been absorbed in Porsche maintenance facilities all over the world. So successful is the program that the German automobile manufacturer plans to open similar training centers in two other countries.
The private sector has a crucial role to play in putting vocational education in the mainstream of Philippine education. The German experience shows that the private sector must take the lead, actively set the curriculum and be at the forefront in the testing and certification of graduates.
To what extent elements of the highly acclaimed German dual system can be adapted to the Philippine setting, and what the roles of government agencies, certification bodies and civil society shall be, need careful reflection and study. Furthermore, public perception and social acceptance of TVET has to become more positive.
The participants were convinced that vocational training and skills development can be a field for innovative forms of development cooperation between the Philippines and Germany.
In Cebu, the AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation of the Federation of Catholic Entrepreneurs BKU cooperates closely with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the University of San Carlos in various development projects. In the WE CAN – Visayas & Caraga project, AFOS partners with CCCI in providing support for trade and industry in selected areas in the Visayas and the Caraga regions. (END)