By Tarra Quismundo Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 06:43:00 09/18/2010
MANILA, Philippines—The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is seeking P700 million for scholarships next year under its proposed P2.85-billion budget as it aims to have more employable graduates of technical and vocational courses.
Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva said the amount is programmed for the training of at least 65,000 scholars from around the country in courses aimed at producing workers in seven employment sectors seeing growth in demand for skilled workers: business process outsourcing, agribusiness manufacturing, creative industries (animation, game development), mining, tourism and wellness, and construction.
“We should change the mind set of saying vocational “lang.” We should erase “lang” because vocational is also a career path. It’s also an option,” said Villanueva.
“It seems we are forgetting this career path. So we really have to invest in this. That’s my call. Let’s invest whether it be time, effort or money,” he told reporters Friday.
The proposed scholarship budget levels with Tesda’s current scholarship fund but much less than the P5.6 billion allocation in 2009, a fund that is under scrutiny by the new Tesda administration following reports some grants went to fly-by-night training schools or ghost scholars.