Sri Lanka’s premier training institute for the students of the hotel industry is improving the quality of the education. SLITHM is the Government owned only National Premier Institute in Sri Lanka to cater for students who wish to join the hospitality industry. The industry requires an attractive training programer that would help build a career path and which needs certification, the Deputy Director General (Academic) of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism Hotel Management (SLITHM) mentioned.
Amidst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SLITHM was able to produce 230 graduands very recently to the Industry during the Graduation Ceremony that was held in November 2021. This was another milestone that the Institute gained with whatever the obstacles that were encountered.
The Hospitality Industry is in peril. Yes, Covid-19 shut down the world’s economy almost overnight and confronted the hospitality industry with unprecedented challenges, and yet, even if we sooner or later overcome the pandemic, trouble lies ahead.
As recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic occurs, the demand in conducting the regular courses is on the increase. Although gradual, the signs are evident and that is surely encouraging. However, it can be a double-edged sword for the hospitality industry.
The Hospitality Industry was plagued with staffing barriers long before Covid-19. While it continually recognised and lamented about it, the industry hardly did much to overcome the issues.
“The country needs a quality workforce that could be achieved through quality training in line with industry requirements”, he said.
An interesting fact revealed is that most students were opting to move out since the wages and the demand created to SLITHM programs. However, he pointed out that while they do not discourage people from leaving the country also needs them to stay here to maintain a balance.
Last five decays SLITHM has maintained such status and have remarkably achieved following massive changes to upgrade the standards of SLITHM.
- Three months Craft Level programs are offered on NVQ 04 Level with 06 months Industry exposure
- Four years Management Diploma in Hospitality Management was streamlined with Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) to obtain for NVQ 5/6 for Diploma and Higher Diploma Levels. Further, the University of Vocational Technology (UoVT) will accredit for NVQ 07 equalling to degree status in future.
All 4 years curricular have been arranged on TVEC format
Mapping of SLITHM curriculum with TVEC (NVQ) guidelines are on progress with TVEC expertise and NVQ streamline project will be completed in year 2021
- Three years Management Diploma in Hospitality Management will be transformed to degree awarding status. Progressing with University Grant Commission and hoping to start the first batch in 2023.
The current curriculum has been organised into a University format 3
All manuals related to Academic review and Institutional review is completed
Act amendment already obtained the cabinet approval to recognise as higher educational institute
Consultants are working on the project. Administrative requirements have been completed working on HR, Finance manual, student’s hand book
The progress of the committees headed by DDG (Academic) i.e., Examination Board, Quality Assurance, Curriculum Development, Library, and Research Unit has been identified
Degree awarding process will be completed by end 2022
Student Management (SMS) and Learning Management (LMS) have already been completed. Processing application, registration of students, on-line payments, on-line examination and issuing results, have been designed and carried out according to the plan
In order to face Covid pandemic situation, all programs, examinations converted in to online for the betterment of the students
Common commencing and ending date for all programs (Year Planer / Grant chart) has been developed. Common time tables for all Programs including Provincial Colleges has being changed over time so as to be e.g. stronger or more complete and to be more useful
Common Power Point presentations, lesson plans, course notes for all programs have been developed
EHL Advisory Service in India, counter-partner of “Ecole hoteliers de Lousanne” in Switzerland has completed the gap overall analysis of SLITHM in order to achieve international standards.
Working on foreign affiliations with ICHM Australia, Plymouth UK and Auckland University New Zealand are in progress
Working with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) developing sustainable programs under partner development fund, volunteers to develop documents related to UGC is in process
Short “Tuk Tuk” drivers training programme is ready to start for all Tuk Tuk drivers to train on related soft-skills for better customer satisfaction.
Return migrants training program launched with ILO for 20 occupations to offer NVQ 3, 4 under RPL system 4
Another ILO funded project launched for developing Learner and Trainer guide for existing occupations at SLITHM
Collaboration with Colombo Hilton, the “Liyadiriya” CSR project to train rural female youth completed and sent to industry
Jaffna SLITHM upgraded the standards with a Training Kitchen and Restaurant. Therefore, all programs can be commenced from January 2022
The following programmes are in the stage of implementation by 2022 for the industry personnel.
Bar Tenders program stage 1
Diploma in Accommodation Operations
Diploma in Food & Beverage Operations
Diploma in Culinary Operations
Diploma in Pastry and Bakery Operations
Any other tailor made programs to meet the industry requirements
Sri Lanka Tourism continues to attract more tourist and many hotel projects are coming up in future. Hence, SLITHM objective is to supply such quality employee demand to the sector, he further said.
By Kanishka N. Jayatunga. Deputy Director General Academic