Tesda 7 seeks regulation of ESL schools in Cebu

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) has no training regulation in place for schools offering ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, meaning ESL schools create their own curriculum, a Tesda 7 staff said yesterday.

Sheyenne Soon, a staff assigned in the technical and vocational education and training program accreditation system, said Tesda 7 has already requested the central office to create a training regulation for ESL schools, with their influx in Cebu.

Tesda, however, requires corporate and academic documents from ESL schools that apply for registration, Soon said.

Corporate documents include registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a board resolution by the company to offer an ESL program.

Academic requirements include rules on attendance and grading system.

Tesda puts in place training regulation for other courses or skills, such as in the health care services.

No limit

There are 48 Tesda-registered ESL schools operating in Cebu City and Cebu Province at present, according to Tesda 7.

“We receive a new application every month or every other month,” Soon told Sun.Star Cebu.

At the moment, there’s no limit in the number of ESL schools, so long as these schools comply with Tesda requirements, she said.

Some heads of ESL schools support the plan to regulate the number of ESL schools in Cebu City.

Ramilita Ayuda, director of Cebu English Language Learning Center, said regulation will ensure the quality of ESL schools.

But the quality of education an ESL school delivers can be measured through their graduates, she said.

If the influx of ESL schools continues, Ayu-da said, enrolment of ESL schools in Cebu will go down.

For Lucilyn Tamse, academic head of Cebu Study Tutorial Language Inc., regulation of ESL schools is good, but added it doesn’t matter how many ESL schools will open in Cebu, so long as these are duly registered with Tesda.

Complaints

“In the past, ESL schools mushroomed but many of them didn’t really last,” she told Sun.Star Cebu. “Those that stayed are those that are already established.”

In a related development, Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, a former education consultant, said he received complaints that some Koreans who studied English here were disappointed because they allegedly didn’t get their money’s worth.

He said he is contemplating to make it mandatory for schools that cater to Koreans to have teachers that are ESL-certified.

“There is no quality standard,” said Young, who wants these schools to apply for a license from the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) or Tesda.

The City Government will do this in coordination with the Cebu Hub for English Learning Excellence.

This is the short-term goal of the City, he said. The long-term goal is to have Cebu City colleges and universities accredited internationally.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 13, 2011.

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