400 residents of GenSan, Sarangani to get scholarship grants from TESDA

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 March) — Around 400 residents in this city and nearby Sarangani Province are set to benefit from nearly P5 million in scholarship grants allotted for the area this year by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Richard Amparo, acting head of TESDA Sarangani-General Santos provincial office, said Monday the grants comprise the area’s allocation for 2015 under the agency’s flagship technical-vocational (tech-voc) training scholarship and student assistance programs.

He said the allocation will cover for scholarship slots under the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and the Training for Work Scholarship (TWSP).

“Each scholarship grant is worth an average of P8,000 per capita,” he told MindaNews in an interview.

Under the PESFA component, Amparo said the grants may be availed by qualified and deserving college freshmen who are taking degree and non-degree courses.

The program was established through Section 8 of Republic Act 8545 or the Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act. It aims to extend financial assistance to “poor but deserving students” in post-secondary courses, a TESDA briefer said.

It seeks to develop more competent and skilled workforce and assist private institutions in the area in their development efforts by assuring a steady supply of enrollees to their course offerings.

PESFA scholars are entitled to free training cost, student allowance, book allowance and assessment fee, it said.

Under the TWSP, Amparo said, the prospective scholars may include out-of-school youths, students and employed individuals who want to upgrade their skills.

He said the program is directed towards “filling up the skills gaps and job requirements of priority industries and sectors with high employment demand.”

For this city and Sarangani Province, he said they are focused on addressing the critical skills shortages in priority sectors such as agriculture, fishery, tourism, services and construction.

Amparo said they have forged partnerships with local tech-voc institutions, training centers and local companies or industry players to jointly address the skills shortages.

“Our accredited tech-voc and trainings institutions agreed to offer courses and skills trainings that match with the needs of our industries as well as our existing economic activities,” he added. (MindaNews)