TORONTO, ONTARIO - Humber College is leading a five-year $4.95 million project, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), to revolutionize Bhutan’s technical and vocational education training (TVET) system. 

The Bhutan Education and Skills Training (BEST) project will enhance equitable access to TVET education, provide learners with industry-relevant skills and support them to enter the labour market which will reduce poverty through economic empowerment.

BEST will increase access to diverse TVET programs that are aligned with the nation’s economic development. The project’s mission is in line with Bhutan’s TVET reform plan and will provide high-quality TVET education and skills to meet industry needs and offer transition pathways for graduates to gain meaningful employment or entrepreneurship opportunities. The project will embed themes of gender equality, environmental sustainability, accessibility for people with disabilities, and Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Humber and Bhutan’s education systems benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience as part of this collaborative initiative. Humber staff will travel to Bhutan to co-develop curriculum, leveraging expertise and resources to support Bhutanese youth who have encountered education and employment obstacles. Simultaneously, representatives from Bhutan’s education system will visit Humber to exchange insights, Indigenous and sustainability perspectives, and Bhutan’s philosophy of GNH for the social and mental well-being of their citizens. 

BEST is funded by GAC and will be implemented by Humber in collaboration with Bhutan’s Ministry of Education and Skills Development, with support from Respect, Education, Nurture and Empower Women, a non-profit organization in Bhutan. Humber will work alongside the Technical Training Institutes and Zorig Chusums (Bhutan’s traditional arts), government bodies, industry representatives, civil society organizations and development partners like the Asian Development Bank.

"The BEST project aligns with Humber's values and mission to develop career-ready citizens, provide accessible education, and build a healthy and inclusive community. We are writing a new chapter in the story of education by transcending borders to teach, learn and innovate for the benefit of both Canada and Bhutan. By teaching gender equality, sharing sustainability practices, and opening the doors for people with disabilities, we can transform education and make the world a more equitable place for all."
-    Ann Marie Vaughan, president and CEO, Humber College

“This project aims to develop global citizens and bring together expertise, technical knowledge, and resources on TVET education in hopes of implementing reform and to enhance the access to TVET education, especially to women, and people with disabilities.”
-    Nalini Andrade, director of International Development Institute and project director of BEST, Humber College

“Education is key and Canada recognizes the importance of vocational education and skills training. The BEST project facilitates access to education and employment for Bhutanese men and women and we look forward to working together with Humber College, the Bhutanese government and our partners to foster meaningful education and livelihood opportunities for all.”
-     Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of International Development”

“The BEST project will help Bhutan to engineer an inclusive and attractive Technical and Vocational Education and Training Ecosystem that is capable of providing enabling conditions for our TVET graduates to acquire high-quality skills and competencies needed to build a dynamic, resilient and vibrant nation.”
-    Norbu Wangchuk, Director, Department of Workforce Planning and Skills Development, Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Royal Government of Bhutan.

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Sylvie Lendvay
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