TESDA trains, certifies close to 300,000 scholars, applicants

By US News Agency / Asian

In the first 100 days in office under the Aquino administration, the new leadership of the Technical Education and Skills Development Agency (TESDA) has conducted trainings to close to 200,000 scholars and certified nearly 100,000 applicants.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva reported that the agency, despite corruption allegations during the past administration, has conducted trainings for 181,433 (land-based/sea-based) scholars, more than twice of its 84,200 target for the first 100 days in office; and 30,960 in TESDA technical institutions, which surpassed its 20,000 commitment.

Villanueva said TESDA was also able to assess 115,117 applicants and certify 94,172.

He said the agency has also forged partnerships with at least 22 industry and other sectoral groups in ICT, construction, electronics, tourism/HRM, automotive, maritime, haircutting and cosmetology for the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

Under Villanueva’s leadership, TESDA has likewise worked for the restoration of the P700-million budget for the agency’s TWSP, which was initially reduced to P350 million; and caused the review and refinements of the TWSP to ensure that targeted increase in absorption rate will be met in a well-planned and systematic manner.

TESDA has also set an outcome-based direction for the TESDA Central Office and Field Office operations, where before, according to Villanueva, there was some tentativeness in pursuing job absorption of Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates as a measure of corporate performance.

Villanueva said the ‘Real Deal’ platform has made clear the new leadership’s resolve to immediately double the absorption rate of Technical Vocational Education and Training graduates from the 28 percent baseline established by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for TWSP scholars by the end of 2011.

“TESDA is positioning Technical Vocational Education and Training as a high priority area for investment in the Aquino administration. And so, we have identified priority intervention areas that we must address under the New TESDA’s ‘Real Deal’ technical education and skills development (TESD) Stewardship Platform,” said Villanueva.

“Under this governance policy, TESDA will exercise the highest level of stewardship in middle-level skills development in the country, ensuring that those who live in the grassroots are given optimal value for the public funds expended to it by the government and even its well-meaning partners from the public and private sectors,” he pointed out.

With Villanueva at the helm, TESDA intends to pursue equitable access to TVET for all; quality and relevance of national TVET systems and programs with increased participation and financing by the private sector; enhanced resources to ensure modern equipment and facilities for TVET; and capability-building including mobilization of TVET trainers.

In line with this, TESDA specifically targets to increase the absorption rate of TESD graduates to 65 percent by 2016; and operationalize the TESDA Development Fund and generate donor financing for TESD. It also wants to be ISO-certified under the ISO9001:2008 Standard.

“On the medium-term, we need to address the lack of adequate financing for incentives and technical assistance to TVET stakeholders and partners,” Villanueva noted.

“We must also work harder to make TVET attractive to all, to change the prevailing public perception that TVET is a dead-end or terminal course,” he further said.

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