June 24, 2005
The Government of Sri Lanka places a high priority on human resources and skill development in her economic policy framework, “Creating our Future, Building our Nation”. The Department of Technical Education and Training (DTET) is one of the key organizations under the Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational and Technical Education (MSDVTE), as a training provider, responsible for the management of 36 technical colleges in Sri Lanka. MSDVTE and DTET have introduced a new strategy to improve the quality of trained manpower in order to match the industrial needs by upgrading nine existing Technical Colleges (TCs) to Colleges of Technology (CoTs) which provide National Vocational Qualification Level 5 and 6. The CoTs which are planned to be equipped with modern machinery and equipment complemented with updated and trained staff with both knowledge and skill in high technology. It is expected that these CoTs will have closer and continuous liaison with the industry, business and professional associations and produce highly competent technicians to match the needs of both local and global labor markets.
In accordance with this strategy, the DTET made a request through the MSDVTE to the Government of Japan in July 2004 seeking cooperation to establish a model CoT and to contribute to the reform of technical education and training in Sri Lanka. In response to this request, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has dispatched a Study Team in September 2004 and in March 2005 to elaborate and study the proposal and confirm the framework of the request. As a result of the study, the Government of Japan has decided to the execution of technical cooperation to this project and an agreement was signed on 24th June 2005 between JICA and the Government of Sri Lanka. This project will be commenced from 1st July 2005 for five years.
As a component of this project, the oldest and the pioneer institution of technical education in Sri Lanka, the Maradana TC, has been assigned to JICA to upgrade as the “Japan - Sri Lanka College of Technology” with JICA Technical Cooperation as a model of CoT. The overall goal of this project is to improve the quality of middle level technical personnel to meet the local and foreign labor market. The three technical training courses, namely, Mechatronics, Information and Communication Technology, and Metal Work Technology, will be upgraded under the initial stage while transferring Japanese technology through Japanese technical experts assigned to the project, offering further training to counterparts in Japan, providing required machinery and equipment.
The expected cost of the project is approximately Rs. 500 Million and it will be an outright grant of the Government of Japan.