By Edd K. Usman
In an attempt to generate more employment in country, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is tapping the power of information technology by putting its 255 training programs online.
Last July 27, the agency unveiled before members of the media its long-term plans that are geared towards combating poverty by generating jobs for the country’s marginalized sector.
Tesda director-general Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong said the agency is targeting the sectors that have little or no access to government services.
If the youth, the poor, the indigenous people (IP), and others cannot get technical vocational education and training (TVET) because inaccessibility, then the TVET will be brought to them online, the new Tesda chief said.
“We will seek out those who have been neglected and have experienced little or no attention from the government, introduce them to skills training, and help them realize their potential to be productive members of society,” said Mamondiong, one of the founders of the Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) Party in the 1990s.
The agency plans to implement its agenda via a twin approach of ?TVET for Global Competitiveness and TVET for Social Equity.?
The Tesda chief stressed that the agency will not slow down on its other technical vocational (tech-voc) initiatives.
“We have our industry-led and widely recognized programs and services which we will continue to offer and advocate. On the other hand, we will make more of these services available to those who need them the most,” Mamondiong assured.
The country has over 4,000 tech-voc institutions (TVIs) across the country providing training under Tesda’s close supervision.
Aside from the TVIs, the agency also plans to bolster its training efforts through approaches such as community-based training, expanded scholarships, Mobile Training Program, Tesda Online Program (TOP), Barangay Empowerment thru TVET, Compact Mobile Units (CMUs), and Onsite Training and Assessment.
Rosanna A. Urdaneta, Tesda deputy director general for policies and planning, said they are leaving no stone unturned to let people access more free TVET courses through the TOP portal to strengthen the use of IT.
“We want to improve the accessibility of the people and we want to expand the online programs. So, that is one of the aspects we are looking into today that is being developed,” she said.
She said Tesda will go into every area of IT already covered by their 255 training regulations. “If we can develop online programs for our 255 training regulations, that would be better because it can be accessed for free (by everyone wherever they are),” said Urdaneta.
Meanwhile, Mamondiong revealed Tesda’s 12-point reform and development agenda, which includes the establishment of online scholarship application.
The new Tesda said the strategy would serve as the framework on which programs designed specifically for expanded access to TVET by the identified groups would be implemented.
Mamondiong said the implementation of the 12-point agenda would require “very close coordination relevant government agencies.” He said these are the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine National Police (PNP), LGUs, social organizations, and private training centers.
“Expect to see more and more of us in the coming days because through TVET, we plan to reach even the most isolated communities in the archipelago,” said Mamondiong.
Tesda executive director for planning office Marissa G. Legaspi said the agency plans to reach out to the country’s 42,000 barangays to distribute scholarship vouchers to residents.
She said they are now coordinating with barangay chairmen (village leaders) for them to help determine the poorest among the residents, the priority for the scholarship vouchers.