By Dhel Nazario
Most training activities of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will resume soon pending the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
The IATF released its Resolution No. 47 Series of 2020 which allowed TESDA to continue the conduct of training programs “related to agriculture/fishery qualifications for food production and processing,” “distance learning for technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs,” and eLearning components of blended learning for TVET programs.”
The IATF also allowed enterprise-based training and in-plant training in establishments that are allowed to operate in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
According to the Resolution, “virtual assessment and portfolio assessment through electronic means” may resume for certain TVET qualifications.
With regard to face-to-face training and competency assessment, the IATF allows these to be conducted at up to 50 percent of the training or assessment site capacity, and provided that these are in strict compliance with minimum public health standards, TESDA guidelines, and consultation with local government units.
According to TESDA, they earlier submitted recommendations concerning the resumption of training and assessment activities to the IATF for inclusion in the Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine in the Philippines.
“In our letter to IATF Chairperson Secretary Francisco Duque, we explained that TVET has distinct features different from basic and higher education, and is highly individualized and self-paced,” said TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña.
These features give TVET classes more room and flexibility to resume on certain conditions even in the middle of the quarantine period, according to the TESDA chief.
“We are glad that the IATF has considered and adopted our recommendations, as it is in these trying times that people need to be skilled for their livelihood or for new jobs as they navigate through life in the new normal,” added Lapeña.
In May, Lapeña issued TESDA Circular No. 066 s. 2020 which states that the processing and issuance of National Certificates (NCs) will be done online. Virtual and portfolio assessment will only be done for the Trainers Methodology (TM II) qualification, while portfolio assessment may be used for some qualifications.
For areas under MGCQ, TESDA will resume with the regular conduct of assessments, subject to strict physical and social distancing and LGU guidelines.
TESDA had also released Circular No. 062 series of 2020 (Guidelines in implementing Flexible Learning in TVET) last May 19. The circular stipulates that TVET institutions may adopt flexible learning delivery modes such as face-to-face, online, blended, and distance learning to deliver their programs. TVET institutions may adopt any flexible learning delivery mode or a combination of modes.