Tech-voc as alternative
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
“Do not give a person fish, but teach him how to fish and you will help him forever.”
This adage has never rung true than today when approximately half a million graduated from college last month in the country. According to Internet recruitment site JobStreet.com, about 2.7 million job openings are available for 2012. Of this number, 64 percent are local and 36 percent are located in neighboring Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. Eighty percent of local job openings are for those who have zero to four years of work experience.
At the rate these statistical data have revealed the availability of jobs for new graduates, there seems to be no reason why jobs should be scarce. However, the number of unemployed in the country have soared since the time former President Fidel V. Ramos declared some 14 years ago that jobs for all Filipinos are envisioned to happen in 2000. At that time, of course, the population of the Philippines was way, way below the almost 100 million today.
The presence of such agencies such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in providing an alternative or a choice for those who may not be able to afford a full four-year college degree, is being felt at this time when there is a prevailing job mismatch. This augurs well, too, for the K-12 educational system that will be implemented starting June. Thus, high school graduates who think they may be more useful – and, consequently, employable – in technical and vocational courses, can apply for the Training for Work Scholarship Program and the Private Education Student Financial Assistance. The programs, which range from 118 hours to 436 hours, registered with TESDA include: computer hardware servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, heavy equipment operation, welding, pipe fitting, automotive servicing, commercial cooking, bread and pastries, household services, bartending, slaughtering, housekeeping, and driving.
Recently, welders from Negros Oriental were commissioned by Manila Bulletin to produce its newspaper stands. TESDA provincial director Toni June Tamayo said, the office coordinates with the various local government units that will, in turn, field scholars.
With private-public partnership in the provision of job opportunities available for poor, but deserving students, very soon, many of our graduates can be their own entrepreneurs engaging in micro-enterprise. Who knows, the vision of jobs for all Filipinos in the coming years will become a reality.*