Sarangani enlists more scholars for Japan

Some of the scholars from Sarangani in Japan. Photo from the FB page of PNTC-Padada

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 February) – The provincial government of Sarangani is set to enlist more scholars for an innovative skills training and internship program in Japan in partnership with a technical-vocational college.

Marife Gomez, program manager of Sarangani’s Sulong Karunungan program, said Monday they have opened the application process for the scholarship program, which mainly provides students with on-the-job training opportunities in Japan.

“This is to provide opportunities to more youths to gain skills and experience as well as earn substantial income through the internships in Japan,” she said in a statement.

The program, which started 11 years ago, is a “study now, pay later” scheme jointly implemented by the local government and the Phil-Nippon Technical College (PNTC) in Padada, Davao del Sur.

Gomez said the scholarship, which is among the priority initiatives of Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, is open to male high school and technical vocational graduates as  well as female college graduates from the province’s seven municipalities who are aged 19 to 26 years old.

She said they have scheduled an orientation and examination in Alabel town on Friday, Feb. 15, for prospective scholars.

Under the program, she said selected scholars will undergo technical skills trainings and Japanese language classes at the PNTC.

The provincial government will provide scholars with stipends of P3,000 a month for the entire duration of the training program, she said.

Gomez said the scholars need to pass the Japanese language program as a primary requirement for the internship in Japan, which has been extended from three to five years.

Students under the engineering curriculum are required to take up the three levels of Japanese language or N3 (Nihongo), N4 and N5, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional drawing and drafting using the AutoCAD computer-aided design software.

Those under the industry curriculum will study Japanese language N4 and N5, and skills such as machining, welding, electronics and electrical, gantry crane operation, automotive, painting and forklift operation.

For the internship in Japan, she said the scholars will earn minimum allowances of P30,000 a month.

Citing the experiences of the current and previous interns, Gomez said they could earn as much as P100,000 a month through overtime work.

“The program has actually helped a lot of families these past years. Some of the previous interns were able to put up businesses while others used their earnings to proceed to college,” she said.

Since 2008, the program already produced 58 contract finishers while 28 are currently deployed in various companies in Japan.

A total of 66 scholars are undergoing training with support from the provincial government. (MindaNews)