For a national government agency like Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the development of the country’s workforce is of utmost need that is why it has been crafting programs for the benefit of every Filipino citizen.
To reach more communities, “TESDA Sa Barangay” was launched to institutionalize the provision of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs in the villages.
TESDA Regional Director Toni June Tamayo explained that under the program, the agency targets to strengthen the implementation of its area-based, demand-driven TVET central strategy.
“In Central Luzon, we have a labor market intelligence where we check what industries are being active, then we create scholarships in anticipation of the workforce needed by those industries. We are very active in Central Luzon as this is a growth area as we have here the Clark and Subic Bay Freeport Zones,” he said.
In-demand skills in the region in 2023 are those in line with the sectors of agriculture, construction, logistics, metals, tourism, and information technology.
For the list of available program offerings in their area, the public is encouraged to go to TESDA provincial offices, TESDA-administered schools, or TESDA training institutions.
They may also visit the TESDA website at https://www.tesda.gov.ph/ (https://www.tesda.gov.ph/) or TESDA Central Luzon at https://www.tesda3.com.ph/ (https://www.tesda3.com.ph/) or its Facebook page at TESDA Region III.
Going online through TOP
TESDA has also adapted to modern technology by creating program offerings that can be taken remotely through the TESDA Online Program (TOP).
TOP is a web-based platform that offers free Massive Open Online Courses for the technical education and skills development of the Filipino workers by providing an effective and efficient way to deliver TVET at the learner’s own space and time.
“As the term itself, it is online so this means that our students can attend or go online. They don’t need to physically attend the institution… TOP is free, as well as the other scholarship of TESDA,” Tamayo explained.
He clarified that enrollees still need to undergo face-to-face assessment to get a national certificate.
TOP is available for blended learning through the Multi-Regional TESDA Online Program (MRTOP) offered by three TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIS). In Central Luzon, TTIs include Concepcion Vocational School (CVS) in Tarlac, and Provincial Training Center Calumpit, and Regional Training Center (RTC) Guiguinto in Bulacan.
In an interview, CVS Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II Trainer Rico Briones shared that MRTOP helped him in conducting blended learning as it let him interact with others, support trainees and trainers, and allow trainee-trainee interaction in class discussions.
“MRTOP is a user-friendly and convenient learning platform that utilizes modern technology. Technical support is always available; everything is intended to allow you to immerse yourself in the set undertakings, as opposed to stress over the usefulness of the learning framework,” he stated.
Those who are interested to avail the courses under TOP may visit its website at https://e-tesda.gov.ph/ (https://e-tesda.gov.ph/).
Establishing a Training Innovation Center in Clark
TESDA is eyeing to build more TVET innovation centers, called Regional Training Innovation Centers (RTIC), nationwide to offer industry-responsive and higher-level TVET programs. This is being done by means of the Supporting Innovation in the Philippine Technical and Vocational Education and Training System Project with the Asian Development Bank.
In Central Luzon, the RTIC is proposed to be located within the Clark Freeport Zone given that it is accessible by land to other provinces and nearby regions, and by air to Visayas and Mindanao and other countries via the Clark International Airport.
Tamayo stated that locating the RTIC in Clark is envisioned to serve the future skills demands of commercial, manufacturing, and training establishments of the freeport, of the region, and of the country as a whole.
“The project will help the TESDA undertake institutional reforms, build project management capacity, and forge stronger engagement between public TVET institutions and industry in the areas of enterprise-based training, business incubation, and applied research and development, thereby enhancing the employability of Filipino youth and workers,” he added.
In a statement, Clark Development Corporation President and CEO Agnes Devanadera assured the state firm’s commitment in the project.
About 2,000 square meters of land will be allotted to build the center. Once operational, the innovation center will offer various courses in robotics, mechatronics, and smart health care. It is seen to also provide qualified workers to about 30,000 jobs projected to be created as the freeport as a hub for business, industry, aviation, education and tourism.
Upskilling women in Bulacan
TESDA has also set its eyes in providing programs that will further develop the skills of those who are in the marginalized sector.
RTC Guiguinto partnered with Boskalis Philippines Inc., one of the firms working on the construction of New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, in reaching out to women in communities affected by the project. They will be upskilled to become licensed drivers of four-wheel vehicles and learn other driving skills so that they can be ready for profitable jobs in non-traditional fields.
“It will cover cooperation agreements to guarantee that residents of the affected communities receive capacity-building activities,” Tamayo pressed.
Empowering the Indigenous Peoples in Pampanga
TESDA, through Sunnyside Training and Integrated Farms Inc., provided scholarship training programs for 344 indigenous peoples (IPs) in Pampanga on Organic Agriculture Production NC II and Agricultural Crops Production.
Tamayo highlighted that the agency provides support, advocacy, and development programs to uplift the living conditions of the IPs.
“Efforts are being made to preserve their traditions, empower their communities, and raise awareness about their unique contributions to the cultural diversity of Pampanga. Recognizing and respecting the rights and identities of indigenous peoples is crucial for promoting inclusivity, social justice, and sustainable development in the province,” he said.
At present, 22 IPs are attending the Training Methodology 1 course at Gonzalo Puyat School of Arts and Trades for them to be able to train others in their own community.
In total, there are 498 technical-vocational institutions in Central Luzon, offering 1,965 programs as of December 2023.
For a government agency like TESDA, it is crucial that programs intended for Filipinos should be availed fully by the public. Thus, it is vital to make the necessary efforts to connect Filipino communities towards better opportunities.
SOURCE: Jag Lyra D. Costamero PIA3