Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of the SESRIC and Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Research Department visited the Technical and Vocational Training Organisation of Islamic Republic of Iran (TVTO) on 29 November 2010 upon the invitation of Prof. Abdolrasoul Pourabbas, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and President of TVTO, to discuss issues of mutual interest of cooperation between the two institutions, particularly the preparations for organising the 3rd Meeting of the Monitoring and Advisory Committee (MAC) of the OIC Vocational Education and Training Programme (OIC-VET), which the TVTO of Iran offered to host in 2011.
The visit took place at the TVTO Headquarters in Tehran, where Prof. Pourabbas, the President of the TVTO and some senior staff at the TVTO received Dr. Alpay and Mr. Dabour. At the outset of the meeting, Prof. Pourabbas welcomed and thanked Dr. Alpay for accepting his invitation, and, then, made a comprehensive presentation on the various activities of the TVTO covering the TVTO’s mission, objectives, approach, activities and programmes. In particular, Prof. Pourabbas underlined the current vocational education and training programmes of the TVTO in various areas, which are available for students at all levels including the universities. He mentioned that most of these programmes are developed in collaboration with the Ministries of labour and Industry and Science and Technology, and that, currently, about 600,000 students are registered in various VET programmes, some of which cover a period of 18 months, and some of these students could complete their learning to get the degree of Master of Engineering (ME).
Prof. Pourabbas also briefed the Director General on the recent decision of the Iranian Parliament to develop a comprehensive system for VET programmes in Iran, called “National Functional Skills System”, where all the departments and divisions in various Ministries which provide VET programmes will come together under this central system. In this connection, Prof. Pourabbas expressed their readiness to cooperate with the SESRIC with a view to transfer and exchange the experience of Iran in this area to/with other OIC member countries. He also expressed his thanks and appreciations to the Government of the Republic of Turkey for its increasing positive relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and for the fruitful cooperation efforts of the two countries.
Concerning the offer of the TVTO to organise and host the 3rd Meeting of the Monitoring and Advisory Committee (MAC) of the OIC Vocational Education and Training Programme (OIC-VET) in 2011, Prof. Pourabbas expressed the willingness and readiness of the TVTO to organise and host the said meeting in Tehran or any other city like Isfahan. He mentioned that, with the support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the TVTO will spare no effort to assure all the success for the meeting and make it, as it was the case in the previous meetings, very fruitful for all the partners. He also mentioned that the TVTO may invite the Ministers of Labour and Science and Technology to address the meeting at the opening session.
On his part, Dr. Alpay expressed his thanks to Prof. Pourabbas, the President of the TVTO, for his invitation and warm hospitality, and briefed him on the OIC Vocational Education and Training Programme (OIC-VET), which has been initiated and designed by the SESRIC and officially launched by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (COMCEC). He mentioned that the Programme has so far recorded significant impact and progress and received positive response from many member countries, where three pilot projects on various areas of interest to the member countries have already been implemented. In this context, Dr. Alpay expressed his confidence that, with the realisation of the ongoing and planned pilot projects and close cooperation with the National Focal Points of the OIC-VET Programme and other relevant institutions, the Programme will reach, during the coming period, a wider audience of beneficiaries from member countries and become a successful model and a brand for human capacity development in OIC member countries.
Following his presentation on the OIC-VET Programme and other activities of the Centre in the areas of research and statistics, Dr. Alpay answered the questions of Dr. Kourosh Parand, Deputy of Training and TVTO's Secretary for the 3rd Meeting of the MAC, related to the preparations for the meeting. In this context, Dr. Alpay suggested that the date of the meeting be in the end of April or the first week of May 2011 (i.e. before the meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC). He also mentioned that the meeting will be a two-day meeting, where presentations will be made by the National Focal Points of the OIC-VET Programme in the first day, and the second day will be designated to take some decisions on the implementation mechanism of the planned pilot projects of the Programme. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Alpay and Prof. Pourabbas discussed the possibility of signing a MoU for cooperation between the two institutions.