In a joint effort to enhance automotive education in Fiji, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and Labtech International Ltd. extended the reach of their partnership through an impactful online in-country program on Automotive Technology Using Virtual Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Held from January 31 to February 3, 2022, the program catered to 23 Fijian automotive trainers and instructors, spanning four enriching virtual learning days.

Nurturing Automotive Expertise

The program was conducted seamlessly via Zoom and delved into a comprehensive array of topics crucial for automotive trainers and instructors, from fundamental insights into automotive systems encompassing basic engine fundamentals.

It also included electricity and electronics to explore braking systems, wheels and drive systems, steering, and suspension systems; the curriculum aimed to equip participants with a solid foundation. Furthermore, it ventured into more advanced studies, including petrol and diesel fuel systems, engine management, transmissions, and hybrid vehicles.

Guiding Forces: Esteemed Supervisors and Facilitators

Overseeing the program were esteemed figures in education and automotive technology. Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, CPSC Director General; Dr. Steven McKee, President of Labtech International Ltd; and Dr. Anjeela Jokhan, Permanent Secretary of Fiji’s Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA), played pivotal roles in ensuring the program's success. The resources and logistics were expertly handled by Mr. Brad Kerr, General Manager of Labtech Academy.

Setting the Tone: Opening Ceremony Highlights

The opening ceremony, graced by Mr. Timori Bure, Head for National Education Service Delivery (HNSED) of the Ministry of Education, Heritage, and Arts of the Government of Fiji, set an inspiring tone for the program.

Mr. Bure emphasized the significance of the training program in meeting the growing demand for motor vehicles and automotive skills in Fiji. He underscored the importance of fostering entrepreneurship and skills development to address the country's economic and social challenges. Expressing optimism, he encouraged the involvement of more institutes and trainers in similar programs.

Closing Ceremony Reflections and Future Plans

The program's conclusion on February 3 witnessed Mr. Darnesh Rahman, Senior Curriculum Specialist of the Curriculum Advisory Services at the Ministry of Education, Heritage, and Arts, as the special guest. In his closing speech, Mr. Rahman outlined the Fijian government's plans for further developing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country.

Despite challenges in internet connectivity, he highlighted the commitment to adapting to the new realities of online learning. The closing ceremony reflected the program's accomplishments and a platform to discuss the path forward for TVET in Fiji.

A Vision Realized: Nurturing Skills for Automotive Advancement

In essence, the collaborative initiative between CPSC and Labtech International has provided essential knowledge to Fijian automotive trainers and contributed to the broader goal of skills development in the automotive sector. This impactful endeavor represents a stepping stone towards a future where vocational education transcends geographical constraints, empowering individuals and fostering growth in the automotive industry.