Friday, September 29, 2023

State of Tech-Voc Program in the Philippines & Asia


State of Tech-Voc Program in the Philippines & Asia

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Trifocal education system with the implementation of K-12 has totallydiminished the quality skills training for TVET.

When you say Tech Voc it means Technical Vocational studies basic education program you took after high school or before college. Tech Voc programs in the Philippines are not only applicable to Filipinos but also available to foreign students who wish to enroll in different programs.

I have Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science way back 2005 and I’ve been in the corporate industry in the past 17 years. And I hate to admit the fact that there are several Tech Voc skilled workers who are earning more than me. Who doesn’t have a Bachelor’s degree.

Philippines as the Tech-Voc Center in Asia

They say that its not all about skills or money by the end of the month. But it is what really is when it comes to the basic industry need of supply and demand when it comes to skilled workers. Experience is the best teacher but it doesn’t need to be theoretical at all.

Tech-Voc instructors and educators as experts in their field of interest. Getting a methodology course does not qualify as trainors, incompetent teachers have been tapped to handle the classes, etc.

Please see the infographic below on how TESDA and the trifocal system mismanaged the education of the Philippines. Also the Propose Professionalization and licensing of Tech-Voc tracks (Professional tracks and Livelihood tracks). That will uplift the status of TESDA graduates by securing a license/to become a professional.

TechVoc education in the Philippines is encouraged by the TVET institutions to be professionally accredited with a proper license. Most importantly a call for qualified tech voc instructors to train our future skilled professionals.

If TVI or Technical-Vocational Institutes are managed and monitored properly. We can produce globally competitive graduates that can compete with neighboring countries. If our Tech Voc graduates are competitive and job-ready they can contribute to our growing economy.

Tony Galvez, an expert in the technical and vocational education and trainingindustry in the country once said: “Philippine TVET ang pag-asa para sa kinabukasan ng mamamayan at ng bayan, kung maayos at maganda and programa.”

Noted for his strong advocacy of technical vocational professionalism for global competitiveness in the Philippines, Galvez also said: “Magagawa nating umangat at umasenso ang pamumuhay ng ating mahihirap na kababayan kung mabibigyan natin sila ng kahalagahan at maiaayos ang posisyon ng technical vocational education and training ng bansa.

Hindi lang ang hangarin ay upang maging isang simpleng manggagawa. Kung hindi, tulungan natin silang linangin bilang mga tunay na eksperto sa iba’t-ibang larangan ng industriya upang and lahat ay maging kapaki-pakinabang at mapabilang sa pandaigdigang
kompetisyon na makapagpapalago ng ating ekonomiya.”

It is therefore time to put an end in the fairy tale that a four-year course is the only
avenue to attaining a decent lifestyle. The technical field is very, very wide, uncharted
and not yet competitive, which is a far cry from the competitive, dog-eat-dog corporate

Existing Philippine Qualification Framework and Ladderized Program Law

Highly-industrialized countries like Japan, Singapore, and Korea have made necessary
advancements in their educational system, focusing on academic excellence and technology innovation.

The TVET PQF NC’s is in need of a specific title for learners’ perspective to the industry or employers for clear and better recognition

These progressive countries teach their citizens to become productive, income-generating and contribute to the national coffers. They put emphasis on the quality of products and service and really invested in technical training. These countries believe in the strength of their manpower and their role in the national economy.

In the Philippines, the two main agencies tasked in providing basic education in the country are DepEd or Department of Education for the academics and TESDA which stands for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which is mandated to provide direction, policies, programs and standards towards quality technical education and skills development.

The two bodies should complement eachother so that there will be no overlapping of roles that could create conflicts in the implementation of their programs. However, it seems that the curriculum from these twobodies have created some challenges for both of them.

Eversince K-12 curriculum hasbeen implemented, DepEd has gotten some resources from TESDA because thetech-voc curriculum should be handled by experts in the technical field and not by aregular teacher. So this phenomena, which was unseen as the would-be effect of the K-12, needs to be resolved.

During the recent Sonshine Media Network International [SMNI] News presidential debates, University of the Philippines professor, Clarita Carlos remarked: “Education is so pivotal to the life of the nation.

Why in heaven’s name did we divide our education system into DepEd, K-12 and ChEd? At kung bobo ka diyan ka na lang sa tech voc. There’s something so brainless about those divisions.”

Even Governor Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu appealed to DepEd and TESDA to focus on their respective mandates. She stated that the Department of Education should focus on basic education and in the students’ academic performances and TESDA can take care of the technical skills.

Give TESDA Free Rein
TESDA should be given complete responsibility by the government for technical
and vocational training, a separate agency from DOLE, DTI and DepEd. However,
TESDA needs to go beyond providing instructions and training. Skills assessment
should be thorough and must meet globally-competitive criteria.

And lastly, granting professional license to successful graduates would give them the recognition that would elevate their status from merely a tech-voc graduate into a professional practitioner of their chosen skill.

Possessing a license gives graduates a sense of pride and achievement. Licensing should be the goal that each tech-voc graduate must aim for because acquiring a license would give them a right to demand a higher salary and compensation for their services.

And most of all, they can be at par with the technical graduates of progressive countries. The licensure tests “is the final ‘quality control’ check before tech-voc graduates are allowed to practice a profession which depends on the lives of people or safety of buildings like carpenters, cosmetology and culinary graduates among many other service-oriented fields.

Licensure examination is but one wheel in the big cog of Philippine Qualifications
Framework. The said framework supposedly sets multiple criteria that measures quality
assurance principles and standards of the Filipino professional, technician and craftsman.

Performing this mandate would mean for TESDA to do a much needed review of
their services and offers. What could TESDA offer to their future enrollees to attract
more of them in the future and in order for TESDA to be an effective arm of the
government for manpower development?

Reshaping Tech-Voc
It is proposed that the tech-voc curriculum be two tracks: meaning the courses offered
will be either service oriented or product oriented.

These two classifications will serve different purposes and will be monitored differently as well. Product-oriented tracks are designed in order to alleviate poverty and provide income-generating projects to barangay folks like stay-at-home moms, out-of-school youths, drug dependents, seniors/retirees, jobless folks, and surrenderees.

Some of these product-oriented tracks are called cottage industries and can be done in the
backyard or in a factory for SME. Some of these are:

Livelihood tracks aims to provide skills training to its target beneficiaries, to engage them in livelihood projects that are income-generating.

The training package for this track must include:

Salesmanship/Entrepreneurship, managerial, marketing and bookkeeping. These livelihood trainings are best for barangays and provincial training through Barangay Kasanayan para sa kabuhayan at kapayapaan (BKKK) set by TESDA. TESDA will also provide for the necessary tools and materials as well as equipment for this skill

The Service Oriented Sector/Industry are the following:

Only by professionalizing all Service Oriented Tech-Voc Courses will uplift the image of techvoc students, graduates and practitioners in the country.

The above mentioned are all professional tracks and require a high school
diploma as a basic requirement. Tech-voc service-oriented profession is not just a
simple trade and all service-oriented tracks will be identified by specific specialization
based on the industry qualification.

President Rodrigo expressed in one of his speeches, “Kaya ang Build, Build, Build, medyo atrasado ng konti. Walang trabahante. We are lacking in experts like in carpentry, in welding and other technical skills. We have a lot of jobless because they are not qualified even in vocational, especially construction.”

As of now, joblessness and lack of experts in vocational and technical skills is really a big concern, but if TESDA will be given free rein, TESDA can perform its main mandate faster and more efficiently.

In the COVID-19 recovery phase, there are opportunities for smart investment in
tech-voc education and training to “build back better” programs and systems. Tech-voc
may be able to cater to students who dropped out during school closures and reskilling
or upskilling those who have become unemployed.

A cycle of how a TVET graduate can be a big help in the economy

Tech-voc can also facilitate the development of skills necessary for the adjustment to structural changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued focus on ensuring acquisition and development of foundational cognitive and socioemotional skills, such as empathy and resilience.

Which have become increasingly valued in the current circumstances, will improve
employability and other human development outcomes for tech-voc students. Moreover,
investment in learning technology and digital skills of tech-voc instructors and students
can ensure lifelong access to learning opportunities and future workforce adaptability.

The state of tech-voc in the Philippines must be reshaped in such a way that the skills and training competencies are given priorities to attain job-readiness of workers as well as uplift our skilled workers as licensed professionals.

To conclude, if our TVETs follow global standards and are just competitive with that of our Asian neighbors, there will be fewer OFWs because TVET graduates can establish their own businesses and can get better paying jobs locally.

Tech-Voc in the Philippines must be reshaped in such a way that the skills and training competencies are given priorities to attain job-readiness of workers as well as uplift our skilled workers as licensed professionals.

TESDA should be independent from other government agencies in terms of providing technical-vocational training and education. However, other agencies can complement because agencies like DepEd, help in the basic education of children, while DOLE and DTI give assistance in the employment and livelihood programs respectively.

Good, high-paying jobs await qualified tech-voc grads. If only they’re given proper incentives, multisectoral support and a supportive policy environment, the
tech-voc track can also be a viable alternative for young Filipinos who wish to lead
productive lives.

We may still have a long way toward strengthening our tech-voc ecosystem in the country, but with a little help and support from the government, industry and academe, we are making crucial inroads that lay the foundation for the future. As we promote tech-voc to the youth to undergo tech-voc training, we hope that tech-voc professionalism and licensing will soon be implemented as well.

And hopefully in the coming years and decades, the state of tech-voc education in the Philippines would further be improved so that when we ask Filipino children what they want to be when they grow up.

We hope many of them will also answer that they would want to take the tech-voc path and become a carpenter, a forklift driver or a farming technician. And by then, these children would no longer be laughed at nor looked down with the career choices they’ve made.