P3.9B earmarked for zero tuition in tech-voc schools

RETURNING overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are not bachelor’s degree holders, and who wish to acquire new skills so that they can secure higher-paying jobs or put up a small business, have been encouraged to avail of government’s tuition-free technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs.

“Congress has set aside P3.9 billion this year so that Filipinos, including OFWs, who are not college graduates may freely enroll in state-run or accredited private TVET schools without having to pay for any tuition or miscellaneous fees,” said ACTS-OFW representative Aniceto Bertiz III.

Bertiz urged those aspiring to study for free in TVET schools to visit the website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

“In the TESDA website, returning OFWs can search for a new skill that they want to learn, and also find online the nearest school that offers the desired program for free,” Bertiz, a former OFW, said.

Zero tuition in TVET schools forms part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, according to Bertiz.

“Actually, tuition and other fees are now free not just in state universities and colleges, but also in government-run TVET institutions and even TESDA-registered private schools,” Bertiz said.

Bertiz cited some of the “high-value” TVET programs available for free to all Filipinos, including returning OFWs and their family members:

• Aircraft maintenance and technology;

• Agricultural crops production;

• Animal health care and management;

• Animal production;

• Animation and 3D animation;

• Automotive servicing;

• Bread and pastry production;

• Computer systems servicing;

• Cookery;

• Dressmaking;

• Electrical installation and maintenance;

• Electronic products assembly and servicing;

• Refrigeration and air-conditioning servicing;

• Shielded metal and gas tungsten arc welding; and

• Visual graphic design.

“We say high-value because there is great demand nowadays – both here and abroad – for human resources that can look after technical equipment or perform practical work – for people skilled in the technique of a craft or art,” Bertiz said.

“TVET program completers can easily sell their skills to prospective employers or, better yet, use their proficiencies to establish small tax-exempt shops under the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law,” Bertiz said.

TVET is schooling that provides knowledge and competencies for immediate employment by combining formal, non-formal and informal learning. (PR)


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