Going back to school for her children’s sake-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
AFTER working for six years in Qatar, Evangeline Tejero returned to Mandaue City and enrolled in vocational courses while waiting for a new job.
Separated from her husband since 2010, the 35-year-old mother raises her two children, ages 15 and 18, alone. They live in her parents’ house in Barangay Ibabao.
Last May 14, she enrolled at the Mandaue City College Technical, Entrepreneurial and Skills Training Center.
Tejero is taking up commercial cooking, baking and pastry, and food and meat processing. She also enrolled in the center’s one-year computer training program.
“I decided to enroll here since I have nothing much to do at home,” she said in an interview.
Tejero, who spends her weekdays at the center, said she took up culinary arts because she wants to improve her cooking skills. She will receive her certificate on Aug. 17.
She turned down an opportunity to work for an airline company because she wants to finish her training, Tejero said.
Evangeline Manalili, the center’s officer-in-charge, said many of their graduates now work overseas.
“We have graduates who are working in cruise ships,” she said.
Aside from culinary and computer training, the center also offers automotive, cosmetology, dress-making, welding and other courses.
The center, which is located on J.M. Ceniza St., Barangay Looc, offers the courses three times a year.
It offers the trainings for free, except for the P500 a trainee has to pay for the uniform, ID, certificates and accident insurance.
After graduating, the students apply for a certificate from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
Last May, all 11 graduates of culinary who took the test at Tesda passed, said Padie Suico, one of the trainers.
Suico said the center is now applying for accreditation from Tesda.
She said the trainings are open to all residents of Mandaue. At present, they have more than 200 students, with ages ranging from 17 to 60 years old.
Last Wednesday, the center organized an exhibit of foods prepared by the culinary students.
Tejero, who only finished high school, encouraged mothers like her to enroll in the center.
Before going to Qatar, she worked for 11 years in a furniture company in Lapu-Lapu City. In Qatar, she worked in the catering department of a hospital.
She said her parents and brother help her financially at present.
Tejero said her dream is to put up a restaurant or a catering business.
After she gets her certificate from the computer training next year, Tejero said she may take up cosmetology.
By developing her skills, she said, more job opportunities will come her way.
“I’m doing this for my children,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2012.