TESDA told to fully restore face-to-face training in 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — Senator Nancy Binay is calling on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to be “aggressive” in arguing for the full restoration of face-to-face training and competency assessment with the COVID-19 task force.

“I think TESDA should be aggressive,” Binay said during a subcommittee hearing on TESDA’s proposed 2022 budget on Monday.

Kasi di ba Secretary, hanggang hindi niyo pinapakita sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) na ‘yung sektor niyo ay kumbaga mape-prevent ‘yung spread ng COVID when you conduct your trainings ay mukhang hindi kayo papayagan na mag-100% face-to-face training,” she added, addressing TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña.

[Translation: Because Secretary, until you don’t prove to the IATF that your sector can prevent the spread of COVID-19 when you conduct your trainings, you cannot be allowed to conduct 100% face-to-face training.]

Binay said most TESDA students are not minors so they are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by next year.

Lalo na for next year, as we increase our vaccination percentage, baka naman next year ay pwede na payagan itong TESDA na mag-full blast na sila sa face-to-face training dahil hindi ko talaga makikita kung paano nila ma-acquire ‘yung competency kung wala silang actual training," she added.

[Translation: Especially for next year, as we increase our vaccination percentage, maybe TESDA can be permitted to go full blast with their face-to-face training because I really do not see how students can acquire competency without actual training.]

At present, TESDA has resumed face-to-face training and competency assessment at 50% of venue capacity in areas under Alert Level 2 to 4, including Metro Manila. Lapeña said they are currently using bigger venues like gymnasiums to increase the number of students per class.

“We go by the regulations set by the IATF, although we always try to get exemptions for our scholars so that we can do this face-to-face training and assessment,” he added.

Lapeña said that in 2020, seven in 10 or 70.51% of Technical and Vocational Education and Training graduates were employed despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, however, cited a March 2021 Asian Development Bank report of very high training–job mismatch rates of up to 80% among TVET graduates in the Philippines.

TESDA officials said efforts are underway to address the discrepancy, including the enterprise-based training program in partnership with companies and establishments.