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Philippines: Providing quality technical-vocational education

Tempo (online), 16 January 2013 - The number of technical-vocational (tech-voc) graduates surpassed the 2013 goal of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). TESDA cited in its report the 860,000 graduates for the first 11 months of 2013 who were given national certificates (NCs) as “specialistas” that qualify them for employment and join the core of skilled, globally competitive Filipino workforce.

The certificate attests that a graduate has gained the standards for workers in a specific occupation as required by companies. Some “specialistas” provide services to barangays and communities as self-employed individuals.

Popular courses for men are computer technology, cellphone repair, auto mechanic, electrical installation and maintenance, construction painting, masonry, heavy equipment servicing, carpentry and scaffold assembly. Women prefer caregiving, dressmaking, beadmaking, culinary art, cosmetology, reflexology, and food technology. Professionals also take up courses in preparation for a business venture. Most centers hold night classes for employees and housewives.

TESDA graduates undergo oral and written assessment tests, a requisite before they can be holders of NCs. It partners with Korea International Cooperation Agency which helped fund the establishment of the Human Resource Development Center that trains Filipino trainers in higher technology, particularly in animation, game development, and mechatronics. The agency’s capability enhancement training of 5,431 trainers in 2013 upgraded their teaching techniques.

The “Hanapbuhay para sa mga TESDA Specialista” is a job bridging converging program of Department of Labor and Employment and TESDA to facilitate the employment of thousands of tech-voc graduates. The program, launched on March 11, 2013, in Metro Manila through job fairs, is a venue for jobseekers and employers. After training and certifying graduates, TESDA provides them post-training assistance and employment through job bridging. As of November 30, 2013, there were 1,806 Blue Desks nationwide that assisted 462,354 tech-voc graduates, of whom 274,574 landed in jobs.

We congratulate the Department of Labor and Employment, headed by Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, headed by Director General Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, in their partnership in honing the skills and competencies of the Filipino workforce as well as prepare them for global competitiveness for Filipino citizens in our Republic of the Philippines and worldwide. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!


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