MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/25 September) — Caregiving courses are out, commercial cooking and housekeeping are in.
Caregiving courses are still being offered but executives of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) say government is no longer supporting it through its scholarship program this year because of low demand in the market.
Engr. Edgar Sales, TESDA provincial director, told MindaNews the trend is not just in the province but in the entire country
He made the same point when summoned by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on September 22 on the legality of community-based schools offering technical and vocation courses.
Sales said that for September to December 2010, TESDA has proposed 340 slots for its Training for Work Scholarship Program.
Out of the 340 slots, 80 are for “Commercial Cooking NC II,” 60 for “Housekeeping NC II” and 40 for “Automotive Servicing NC II.”
TESDA allotted the rest of the slots for consumer electronics, computer programming, food and beverage services, electrical installation and maintenance, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Health Care Services, slaughtering operation, and shielded metal arc welding.
From July to September 2010, TESDA had 170 scholars, including 61 from a carry over program initiated by then Rep. Candido Pancrudo last year.
Sales admitted that TESDA had no scholars from January to June 2010.
But the 520 scholarship slots accommodated and to be accommodated this year are a measly fraction of last year’s 5,444 slots worth P38 million.
Sales said most enrollees in tech-voc courses in Bukidnon are persuaded through the scholarship programs.
Sales warned enrollees to check with TESDA first if they intend to enlist in courses at community-based training providers. He said TESDA could not closely monitor most of these schools as they offer irregular programs.
He said TESDA has no police power to stop erring schools from operating even if they figure in unfair operations side by side with those who pay taxes and follow regulations.
He said those who want to get a qualifying certificate at the end of the course must enroll in one of the 24 tech-voc schools in Bukidnon accredited by TESDA, among them the TESDA training centers in Valencia City and Don Carlos town and Bukidnon State University and Central Mindanao University.
At the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sales told board members it is not illegal for community-based training providers like a tech voc school ran by the Municipality of Maramag to operate.
But he admitted it was disadvantageous for the enrollees since they could not acquire qualifying certificates and eligibility to proceed to higher courses if they transfer. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)