By Edd K. Usman
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the Mindanao State University (MSU) System signed on Wednesday, July 20, a partnership agreement that aims to take advantage of information technology (IT) to address poverty in Mindanao.
Tesda is the main agency of the government in developing the country?s manpower pool, while MSU is one of the top state educational institutions in the country with 11 campuses in southern Philippines.
Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong, Tesda director-general, and MSU president Habib W. Macaayong signed the ?memorandum of cooperation? at the Tesda compound in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The two parties agreed to formulate strategies aimed at harnessing the potentials of technical vocational education and training (TVET) to boost more available manpower resources as a means to pump prime growth in Mindanao.
“A technical working group composed of Tesda and MSU will be looking into areas of collaboration. TVET is the answer to the issues that have plagued most places in the far south,” said Mamondiong.
He said Tesda has already been using the power of the internet through the Tesda Online Program (TOP) where everyone can access its training programs from any part of the world just by a click of the mouse.
Mamondiong and Macaayong cited the importance of technology in addressing poverty, among others.
“We have to adopt new technologies. I would like to believe that MSU will do the same because of the demand for new technologies to be able to cope with the world trends,” said the Tesda chief.
Macaayong said MSU main campus in Marawi City and its 10 other campuses all over Mindanao “are very active in the promotion of digital technology.
?We have the College of Information Technology that provides the necessary education for our youngsters on technology,” he said. ?IT is needed in boosting economic, social, and infrastructure development.?
The two officials said MSU will make available in its campuses the TVET programs of Tesda and bring it to the grassroots.
Mamondiong said Tesda will also tap barangay officials across the country to enlist their help in the training of their constituents.
Meanwhile, the new Tesda chief announced at the event that the agency will be opening its training centers nationwide for the skills training of drug dependents and pushers.
“This is in response to reports of convicts and inmates who resort to their old trade after serving time in jail because they have no other means of livelihood,” he said.
It is important, he said, to address the welfare of the inmates to give them a second life adding the TVET or tech-voc training could be done in jail facilities in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“I will task all regional and provincial directors of Tesda to coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and DILG to put this activity in motion,” the Tesda chief said.