To upgrade tourism education and skills training in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has closed ranks with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat led the virtual signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Convergence on Tourism Education and Training, titled “Moving Forward and Beyond” on Thursday, Nov. 5, joined by Education Secretary Leonor Briones, CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III, TESDA Director-General Isidro Lapena, and TIBFI Chairman Ma. Christina Aquino.
“This event marks an important milestone in Tourism Human Capital Development in the Philippines, as this will institutionalize the harmonization efforts of the government sector, the academe and the tourism industry,” Puyat said.
Through the signing of this MOU, the tourism chief said that the agencies will work toward the strengthening of industry-led education and training, which will standardize academic and practical instructions with the end result of producing world-class tourism professionals.
The DOT chief shared that one of the MOU’s highlights is to have DepEd, through its K-12 Basic Education Program, introduce technical and vocational education in public schools for junior and senior high school curricula, which includes tourism skills training. She noted the need for harmonization of tourism education and skills training toward its goal of honing students for the demands of the industry.
“We hope that this convergence will pave the way to a seamless transition from Senior High School to Higher Education, ensuring that our students are ready when they enter the industry,” Puyat pointed out.
The MOU will also pave the way for strengthening collaboration among concerned agencies and the private sector in developing and promoting Education Tourism under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016 to 2022, and support the implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (ASEAN MRA-TP).
The tourism chief stressed that the DOT shall implement and coordinate programs and projects to develop and enhance tourism manpower skills in the Philippines, and strengthen linkages and partnerships between the academe and the industry.
“With this MOU, you can count on the DOT to work tirelessly with other government agencies concerned and industry stakeholders in the development of agreed tourism industry training regulations,” she added.