Wickramarachchi to commence German standard courses in Optometry in Sri Lanka

Wickramarachchi to commence German standard courses in Optometry in Sri Lanka
J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company (Pvt) Ltd will work together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) to provide a comprehensive and practice-oriented training course on Optometrist (NVQ Level 3) and Optometrist (NVQ Level 5). The first batch of 30 students from various parts of the country including Northern and Eastern Provinces will commence their training in the coming months.

In Sri Lanka, traditional optometry is heavily focused on theory and requires the implementation of more practical components and practices similar to the German dual system. Both courses will follow curricula endorsed by the Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and will integrate elements of the German dual qualification that ensures conformity to quality standards defined by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). This training initiative is co-financed by the J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and was initiated through Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) programme of AHK Sri Lanka.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize the cooperation was signed by GIZ Sri Lanka Country Director Ms. Christiane Einfeldt, President/CEO of J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company, Mr J.M. Wickramarachchi and Ms Tatjana Rest, Advisor- GIZ Vocational Training in Sri Lanka Project on 23rd April, 2021 at the Wickramarachchi Opticians & Hearing Care branch in Nugegoda. An agreement to facilitate the certification process with DHIK was also signed by the Chief Delegate of AHK Sri Lanka, Mr. Andreas Hergenroether and Mr J.M. Wickramarachchi.

“We are grateful to have AHK Sri Lanka and J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company on board for this industry-driven cooperative vocational training that will provide selected trainees with relevant skills in demand by the optometry industry. We would welcome private sector partners to join hands in developing similar type of industry-driven courses for youth in Sri Lanka since these types of courses create a win-win situation for students by enhancing their chances of employability and for private sector companies by enabling them to hire employees based on skills in demand”, said GIZ Sri Lanka Country Director Ms. Christiane Einfeldt. Mr J.M. Wickramarachchi said that “Germany being a constant innovator of cutting-edge technology, developing the course to be in par with the German standard, we strive to change the current reality of the Sri Lankan optical industry by creating more learning opportunities and developing a skill set that would ensure holistic care for the people which will allow us to produce more local and foreign employment opportunities within the industry. We are hoping to expand and initiate more courses in elite medicine in the near future,” Mr. Wickramarachchi added.

“AHK Sri Lanka is the official representative of German Chambers of Commerce, which are responsible for coordination and certification of German dual vocational training. The Delegation will cooperate with GIZ Sri Lanka’s VTSL project and support J.M. Wickramarachchi & Company during the training with expert advice, a train-the-trainer course, stakeholder coordination, examination, quality assurance, and certification according to German standards by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK)”, said Andreas Hergenroether, Chief Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka. Also present during the signing ceremony were Mr. Josef Tschoep (Head of Vocational Training & Business Scout for Development, AHK Sri Lanka), Ms Paatala Fernando (Advisor- VTSL Project) and Ms.Kushani Samarasekara (Branch Operations Manager, JMW & Co).