TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) needs the industry's help to leverage technical and vocational education and training's (TVET) modernization.
Currently, there is a perception by some that technical and vocational (tech-voc) courses is a "second class" as compared to a bachelor's degree.
In a report from the Philippine News Agency (PNA), during the J.P. Morgan-organized One Step Ahead Forum in Makati City, Tesda deputy director general Rosanna Urdaneta said people have a mind-set that tech-voc jobs do not compensate well. If the compensation is much higher, like other professions, then parents would not mind to send their children to get tech-voc courses. Tesda noted that aqua-farm cultivators earn an average monthly salary of P7,823 pesos while powerplant operators earn an average of P30,887.
However, people who look down on tech-voc courses and jobs will have to understand that there are jobs out there for tech-voc graduates that compensates well.
This is where the different industries come in. There is a need for them to help Tesda modernize certain tech-voc courses that are up to the standards and needs of the industry.
Luz Victoria Amponin, executive director of Tesda’s Partnerships and Linkages Office, has earlier said that the office seeks to partner with more industries.
In the PNA report she said their current partnerships with the industry will depend on the capabilities and agreement of the partners. She said some companies may provide scholarships, donate a building, and may share their facilities.
There are also those who accept Tesda interns. This allows the students to be exposed to what it is like to be in the industry they are in and learn new things first hand. If they do well, some of these partners would absorb them to be one of their employees.
Aside from partnering with the different industries here, there is also a need to adopt international standards. This will allow our tech-voc courses be at par with other countries. This will also make tech-voc graduates to compete outside the country.
Tesda offers tech-voc courses through its accredited institutions around the country.
Here in Davao City, among the Tesda-accredited schools is the Korea-Philippines Vocational Training Center. Currently, it is offering courses for public utility vehicle drivers under Tesda's "Tsuper Iskolar" program. This is a partnership between Tesda and the Department of Transportation. Some P350 million have been alotted for the scholarship program. Aside from the drivers, PUV operators, and members of families can also join the scholarship progam.
In the past issues of my column, I have been recommending the service of Tesda in helping the poor to find a means of livelihood. I hope some of you might have benefitted from this. We owe a lot to Tesda for its philanthropic endeavors.