TESDA: EXCELLENCE IN BLUE COLLAR JOBS AND SERVICE INDUSTRIES
The Weekly Kapihan on September 19, 2015 tackled the topic, “TESDA Updates” at NVC Carmen Hotel. Guest are Dr. Julius Sol Jamero, Provincial Director of TESDA and Ms. Leonore O. Medina, Pres. ATSA.
Dr. Jamero said that the mandate of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority is embodied in RA 7796 enacted by Congress 21 years ago. It addresses skills competence of out of-school youth undergoing training in technical vocational education. In 2015, we have 2, 270 scholars and 2,000 regular students taking up tourism, food and beverage services and housekeeping.
How do we manage this challenging mission with a limited budget of P18 million this year?
We coordinate the 21 Technical Vocational Educational Training Schools (TVET) scattered all over Aklan with funding of P13 million. Critical to our success is partnering with Local Government Units (LGU’s) and other government agencies, confided Dr. Jamero.
“Regarding the implementation of K+12 where 2016 is the initial year of implementing senior high school, we have an interfacing plan with DepEd for students taking up any of authorized technical vocational courses like Information Technology, tourism, agri-business, fisheries, housekeeping, and others. After graduating from their senior year, students must undergo competency assessment test in order to qualify for National Certificate (NC II).”
There is an approved ladderized program done in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education that college undergraduates could pursue technical vocational courses that could be credited in their favor.
The impact of technical vocational education on raising personal esteem and satisfaction is phenomenal. Presently, 53 percent of our graduates are fully employed after undergoing rigorous hands on training for 6-12 months. Compare this with a 4 year college graduate whose chance for employment is barely 20 percent, averred Dr. Jamero.
Ms. Medina clarified that despite the absence of basic textbooks on technical vocational from DepEd participating TVET, schools use the Competency Based Lesson Material (CBLM). Popular are massage therapy, masonry, welding, carpentry, and others. Because of better teaching proficiencies methods and style, at least one half of our graduates are now working abroad said the Lady Educator.
It is good that Dr. Jamero does not discourage parents or youth from pursuing higher college education. There is no question here if they can afford and take chances. Based on statistics, NC II holders with formal training of less than a year get the lion share in the job market. Presently, Tesda Aklan has a Facebook website where all their technical vocational experts on welding, electricity, plumbing, IT’s, tourism, housekeeping, and others together with their business address could be contacted for contractual services. The same is true for TVET accredited schools and their specialization.
There are only 2 Assessment Centers in Aklan that conduct regular Competency Assessment for 10,000 graduates. This is very inadequate that Director Jamero is appealing to Heads of Schools to collaborate in this important undertaking.
TESDA in the wake of typhoon Yolanda appropriated P3.3 million for recovery program that benefitted 3,000 recipients who were, trained on carpentry and plumbing done in coordination with LGU’s.
Another program in entrepreneurship is “Go Negosyo” where graduates are given allowance, apprenticeship training and tool kits.
Aware that college graduates have an uphill climb to land a job, many opt to take up technical vocational courses in order to qualify for many job openings here and abroad. This humbling trend shows that blue collar workers are on the rise. Alongside are their living standards.
If one can be proficient in a job after one year, then why is there a need for additional 2 years in basic elementary education? If the answer is for quality education, how come these graduates are required to pass the competency assessment test given by TESDA? Simple answer: K+12 graduates per se are not job ready. The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2011 is just an educational experiment that impoverishes people. Hence, impractical. As a developing country we must be pragmatic. Quality education is associated with highly motivated teachers and well equipped classrooms (books, chairs, tables, teaching devices, lighting, electric fans, running water). Spreading the education budget too thin invariably results in half baked graduates and misfits.
UP, Ateneo, La Salle and UST are among the 300 best schools globally according to QS World University Rankings and yet they are products of 10 year basic education. Ironically, we have plenty of college graduates in oversubscribed courses that are employed in jobs that do not match their skills and training. Indeed, this is waste of human resources and lost opportunities. Perhaps a rational approach is to strengthen TESDA and propel Filipino excellence in blue collar jobs and the service industry. /MP