Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Education and Teacher Training in the ASEAN Region
Title: Regional Cooperation Platform for Vocational Education and Teacher Training in the ASEAN Region
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education (MoE)
Overall term: 2008 to 2011
Although there is a long tradition of cross-border cooperation in the field of vocational training in Asia, there is rarely any systematic exchange on reform processes. That is why in 2009 China, Viet Nam, Laos and Thailand founded the Regional Cooperation Platform Training and In-Service Training of Teachers and Managers in Vocational Schools in Asia – called the RCP for short. This was based on an initiative of the former President of Tongij University in Shanghai, Professor Wan Gang, who is now Minister of Research in China.
Despite high growth rates, there are shortcomings in the vocational training systems of all the countries involved in the RCP. National reforms and modernisation processes as well as mutual recognition of education systems and teaching qualifications are often still in their infancy. The same goes for training for vocational school teachers and managers.
The Institute of Vocational Training and select South-East Asian specialist institutes use the regional platform for joint research and consultancy on vocational education.
In preparation for the programme, RCP members (especially universities and ministries of education) receive support in developing and establishing appropriate platforms for mutual exchange as well as working formats, such as working groups, conferences and in-service training courses. They also receive assistance in establishing management structures and constructing websites. Systematic learning, mutual consultancy and in-service training are facilitated.
Conferences, particularly in the ASEAN countries, working groups and joint projects permit the exchange of know-how on vocational school teacher training. The advantages and disadvantages of various education systems, focusing more on the needs of the labour market and harmonisation of educational qualifications are discussed in detail and dealt with efficiently.
Results achieved so far
The RCP was established in March 2009. It comprises eight specialist institutes in the field of training and in-service training of vocational school teachers in the ASEAN region and China. It closes an important gap in regional cooperation and integration. In the specialist institutions there is now greater awareness of the importance of regional exchanges.
To date, four specialist conferences in the ASEAN countries attended by more than 100 participants, as well as a number of workshops and training courses have contributed to more systematic networking, communication and cooperation between institutions in the four countries – China, Laos, Viet Nam and Thailand. The agreed topics and content plus new methods (e.g. Open Space Technology, collegial consulting) are now applied in the work of the specialist institutions. Organisational processes, as well as training material and methods have been improved through cooperation in working groups and using a shared website. The results developed are available to all members and improve performance in training, research and consultancy.
Better-trained vocational school teachers and managers increase the quality of teaching and learning processes, making training more practice-oriented.
Based on the Thai model, a Master's degree course has been established in Laos.