Councilor wants vocational courses offered on Sundays

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AS VOCATIONAL courses are continuing to be in demand here and abroad, a Cagayan de Oro City councilor suggested scheduling more enhancement and skills development classes on Sundays.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said this is also to accommodate househelpers who are interested to study.

Nacaya said housekeepers are too busy during weekdays to enroll themselves in skills development courses and that their only free time is during Sundays.


"I'm hoping that there will be programs scheduled on proper dates where housekeepers can attend to these classes," he said during the City Council's session on Tuesday.

Nacaya said the City Government, with the participation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), should also put premium on making vocational courses more accessible to everyone, especially to those who are staying at home.

"This can help them land a job abroad especially that there are strict requirements when it comes to skills in global market," he said.

Andrea Busak, 46, a resident of Tambo, Macasandig, said with her busy schedule attending to her family's needs during weekdays, she is not able to enrol in any vocational course.

"Most of the classes don't fit with my schedule even if I'm interested with the programs. It would be helpful if the local government can find a way to make it more accessible to busy people like me," Busak said.

Kotie Ramiro Bax, Tesda-Misamis Oriental senior specialist, said schedules regarding their programs depend on the registered schools that offer vocational courses.

"We actually have a lot of programs right now. We even have three Tesda Administered Schools here in Region X (Northern Mindanao) where they offer weekend classes," Bax said.

Cagayan de Oro Bugo School of Arts and Trades (Cobsat) is one of the Tesda administered schools BAX mentioned, which offers technical vocational courses like automotive, construction, garment and tourism scheduled even during weekends.

She said with regard some institutions, there are special cases where there are weekend classes but these mean additional payment for the services of the instructors.

"We do have budget, but since most of the students are availing the scholarship program of the Tesda, we're also trying to adjust our expenses," Bax said while explaining that in 2009, Tesda released P1 billion scholarship funds, which made to decide to cut the allowances in 2010.

Bax added the Department of Education also offers an Alternative Learning System (ALS) where parents of students can learn from the various skills development and enhancement programs just like what Tesda offers.

She said those who finish vocational programs in ALS can also take the mandatory assessment test given to Tesda graduates for them to get the national certificate, which is one of the requirements for overseas work.

Nacaya said he hopes to tap Tesda, government agencies and other learning institutions to make schedules of vocational courses classes more accessible to busy people like housekeepers. (Nizam M. Pabil, MSU Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 27, 2011.

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