By Dhel Nazario
Filipinos are very family oriented. And it is this attachment that inspires them to better themselves, beat the odds – even at the cost of one’s life – just to give loved ones the kind of life that is better than what they have. That is simply the meaning of success. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
The normal route to fulfill one’s dream is through education. But not all follow this route without difficulty.
The middle child of farmer parents, Ibrhaim “Brian” Palmado was told frankly by his mother they could no longer afford to send him to college. Life in Tayabas, Quezon was tough for Brian and his parents,
relying solely on the rice field for their sustenance with a few pesos his mother earns on the side doing laundry to make both ends meet. Harvest season is the only time their family of five enjoyed good food and the next would be four months later.
His mother asked him to help out in the farm, an appeal that doused cold water on his dream to become an engineer. But lady luck was on hand to cheer him up when officers
of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) visited his school in 2000 to offer scholarships to deserving students. Brian took the exam, passed and studied at Dualtech center where he finished an Electro Mechanic course two years later.
TESDA has three scholarship programs — Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) and Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA).
The TWSP is a government program intervention directed toward meeting the job requirements of priority industries and sectors, provides skills and competencies to job seekers through appropriate training programs that are directly connected to existing jobs for immediate employment.
STEP is a community-based specialty training program that addresses specific skills needed by communities and promote employment, particularly through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities. Training programs are generally short-term. Applicants should be 15 years and above and are given training allowance and free starter tool kits.
PESFA, on the other hand, extends financial assistance to marginalized but deserving students in Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses and assists private institutions in their development efforts by assuring a steady supply of enrollees in the offered courses.
With his first paycheck, Brian was able to install electricity in their home where the family enjoys bonding moments watching shows on a second-hand television. Life was getting better. Soon he renovated their hut.
Through diligence and hard work that resulted in multiple promotions, Brian pursued his dream and earned a mechanical engineering degree in 2010. Four years later, he earned his Master’s and now works as an Environmental and Safety Engineer at BAG Electronics Inc., a German company.
In 2017 alone, TWSP had 290,965 subsidized enrollees while STEP had 49,745. As of December 2017, a total of 17,360 are enrolled under PEFSA. Bridging gaps Since its creation in 1994, TESDA — which integrated the functions of the National Manpower and Youth Council (NMYC), the Bureau of Technical – Vocational Education of the education department
and the Office of Apprenticeship of the Department of Labor – has proven its role as “the authority” in TVET, bridging gaps between clients seeking better opportunities
through quality training provided by reliable partners to serve industries/enterprises in need of skilled labor.
After passing the audit for its plans and programs, TESDA received the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 certification which covers all its 17 regional offices and 81 provincial offices, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and its central office’s process of standards development.
TESDA is the second agency under the executive branch with a nationwide ISO Certification. The Department of Health is the first to receive the prestigious status in 2013. All tech-voc programs being offered by public and private training institutions and schools are required to be registered with the agency before they are offered to the public. Such process ensures that these programs comply with the standards set by TESDA in terms of facilities and equipment, curriculum content, trainer qualification among others.
TESDA currently has 3,979 TVET providers — 3,643 private and 336 public institutions — offering registered programs. Of 336 public institutions, 122 are TESDA administered schools with training centers.
‘World Café of Opportunities’
This month, TESDA is celebrating its 24th anniversary with a nationwide job fair — the 1st “World Café of Opportunities,” a one-stop shop for job seekers on Aug. 25-26 to help TVET graduates find jobs and other scholarships.
TESDA Director General Guiling A. Mamondiong said the job fair will be held simultaneously in 17 regions during the celebration of the National Technical-Vocational (tech-voc) Day on August 25 declared by President Duterte. The job fair aims to strengthen the agency’s Job Linkaging and Networking Services (JoLiNS).
This is in line with the vision of the President to create more jobs and pursue entrepreneurship from the grass root level.
“That’s why we need the cooperation of other organizations to create more jobs, develop livelihood projects and solve job-skills mismatch,” Mamondiong said.
TESDA has a Registry of Certified Workers which provides information on the pool of certified workers for certain occupations.
The WCO projects to give jobs to 17,000 TVET alumni from 17,000