The success of vocational schools in Singapore is something the Philippines is also hoping to achieve, according to Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Secretary of the Department of Education in the Philippines.
"We want to ensure we have vocational technical schools, very much like what you see in Singapore," said Br. Armin.
As part of a series of talks organised by the Fullerton Hotel and St Joseph's Institution (SJI), Br. Armin remarked that he had previously spoken to a local minister about vocational institutes in Singapore.
"We had the chance to look at Singapore's program. One of the questions I asked the minister was 'how were you able to transform your own schools into one that is respected even by Singaporeans?'"
"He said: 'Simple. The old schools, we transformed them and came up with buildings that looked better than some university campuses. Instantly, the perception of students, teachers and the general public was, this is a professional technical educational institution.'"
"I think that's what we need to do in the Philippines," said Br. Armin.
The talk is part of a series of leadership lectures that feature oustanding SJI alumni, and previous speakers included Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and composer Dick Lee.
Br. Armin is the first of two overseas speakers invited to deliver the lecture as a Lasallian. In 2010, he was recognised as an Outstanding Manilan for Advocacy on Social Consciousness by the City of Manila.