THE Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) announced that it will prioritize the conduct of training for the out-of-school youth (OSY) and drug surrenderees in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

“The out-of-school youth and the drug surrenderees will surely avail of the program. We will not leave them hanging,” Tesda Director-General Guiling Mamondiong said.

Mamondiong said Tesda will continue to implement its current programs even as it has integrated the anti-poverty agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

To pursue the active participation of the communities, they have sent letters to the 42,000 villages in the country asking local officials to provide a list of recommended scholars and the kind of skills they need training.

The agency’s 14-point reform and development agenda for the next six years will serve as the framework on which programs designed specifically for expanded access to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by the identified groups would be implemented.

The 14-point agenda are as follows: Barangay-based Scholarship Program, On-line Scholarship Application, Technical Audit of TVET Schools and Programs, Skills Training for Drug Dependents, Skills Training for Entrepreneurs and Family Enterprises, Skills Training for Inmates and their Families, Inclusive Program for Women, Continuing Program for Tesda’s Alumni, Global Access to/on-line database of TVET Graduates and Certified Workers, Linkages with Agro-Industry, Linkages with State Universities and Colleges and Local Universities and Colleges, Linkages with Foreign Skills Training Institutions, Transparency, and Moral Renewal.

“We are confident that these programs will help empower our people to become more productive members of society. These will give them opportunities through skills training that can either help them start a career or a new business venture,” Mamondiong said.

He said the programs of Tesda are free of charge to out-of-school youth, persons with disabilities, as well as employed and unemployed residents of the region.