It is high time that Pinoy tech-voc graduates are treated the same way as any other graduate from those with a university degree. They should get the same prestige, the same recognition, the same job security and the same professional status, after all they also were also educated the same way and much more. Hindi porket some Pinoys pursued a Tech-Voc education ay bobo na sila, sa totoo nga mas mahirap pa ang ginagawa nila and it takes skills to do that.
Come to think of it, there are a lot of opportunities locally and abroad for a tech-voc graduate and one industry that is in dire need of skills and various technical knowhow is the service industry and we are talking worldwide here! It is just a matter of making these tech-voc graduates job-ready and globally competitive, who could be a big help to our country’s national income and economy. If our technical-vocational institutes focus on leveling up and invest more in technical training, we would be able to produce graduates that can compete against our neighboring countries like Singapore, Japan and Korea.
Tony Galvez, President of Technical and Vocational Schools and Associations in the Philippines or TEVSAPHIL-National and an expert in the technical and vocational education and training industry in the country once said: “Philippine TVET ang pag-asa para sa kinabukasan ng mamamayan at ng bayan, kung maayos at maganda ang 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 ang lahat ay maging kapaki-pakinabang at mapabilang sa pandaigdigang kompetisyon na makapagpapalago ng ating ekonomiya.”
A Need for Framework Revision. We all know highly-industrialized countries like Japan, Singapore, and Korea have made necessary advancements in their educational system, focusing on academic excellence and technology innovation. They teach their citizens to become more productive, income-generating and contribute to the national coffers.
Staunch advocate for the importance of technical skills in our society, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, CEO of Ayala Corporation, one of the country’s top corporations once expressed that a vocational or technical degree should be given a prominent position in our country’s educational framework. The curriculum should be wider and the accreditation status should be improved significantly so that it will produce young graduates with specific skills that match the market needs.
Two main agencies tasked in providing basic education in the Philippines are: DepEd (Department of Education) which is in charged with the academics and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) which is in charged with technical education and skills development. They should ideally complement each other so that there will be no overlapping of roles that could create conflicts in the implementation of their programs. However, when the K-12 curriculum was implemented, DepEd needed the tech experts from TESDA to handle their tech-voc curriculum which caused a big hurdle to both parties.
With that, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia 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.
Reshaping TESDA. TESDA needs to go beyond instructions and training. Skills assessment should be thorough and must meet globally-competitive criteria. But what would really elevate the status of TESDA graduates is granting them professional license from merely a tech-voc graduate into a professional practitioner of their chosen skill. Aside from giving these graduates a sense of pride and achievement, owning a professional license would give them better job opportunities and higher salary and compensation. Licensure tests will set the criteria that measures quality assurance principles and standards of the Filipino professional technicians and craftsmen.
There are 2 proposed tracks for TESDA: Service-oriented or product oriented. 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.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 training.
While the Service Oriented Sector/Industry 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. If TESDA will be given free rein, they can perform its main mandate faster and more efficiently. Thus, joblessness and lack of experts in vocational and technical skills in our country will easily be addressed and would definitely uplift the state of tech-voc in the Philippines.
Currently in the COVID-19 recovery phase, tech-voc in the Philippines could be a jumpstart in building a career which was halted due to the pandemic. It may cater to students who dropped out during school closures and could reskill or upskill those who became unemployed. Tech-voc can also facilitate the development of skills necessary for the adjustment to structural changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To improve employability and other human development outcomes for tech-voc students, focus on developing foundational cognitive and socioemotional skills, such as empathy and resilience, while investing in learning technology and digital skills of both tech-voc instructors and students can ensure lifelong access to learning opportunities and future workforce adaptability.
In conclusion, given that our TVETs follow global standards as with our Asian neighbors, there will be lesser Filipinos leaving the country for greener pasture because they are capable of getting better paying jobs or even opening their own businesses to even provide more job opportunities to other people.
While TESDA being able to become independent in terms of providing technical-vocational training and education, agencies such as DepEd, who can help the basic education of children and DOLE and DTI, who can give assistance in employment and livelihood programs to tech-voc graduates are a big help.
Young Filipinos who wish to lead a productive life can ought to take the tech-voc track as better employment and compensation awaits for a qualified tech-voc graduate given that tech-voc professionalism and licensing will be implemented. It may still a long shot, but if they receive support from the government, industry and academe, it can happen. And hopefully in the near future, tech-voc education in the Philippines would further be improved. So that children who hope to take the tech-voc path when they grow up to become carpenters, forklift drivers or farming technicians, won’t ever be looked down with the career choices they’ve made. Because ang Pinoy tech-voc ay hindi bobo at hindi ito pinili dahil walang choice, but because they want it and chose to be one.
Oo nga mamsh! Sayang ang career opportunities and earning potential sa tech-voc field. Malaki pa naman matutulong nito sa mga industriya natin.
I totally agree with your frustrations. It is time that the Philippines must widen its horizon and understanding of things. Realtalk lang, not all students have the capacity and brain ability to pursue 4 to 5-year degree courses and leading to white-collar jobs. That’s why vocational courses and certificates are available.
I’ll give you an example – my stepson is now 16yrs old and already quit high school, and currently taking a VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) is a two-year certificate for small machinery (such as operating lawn mowing machines, etc.). He used to go to an extremely academic high school, but since he isn’t good in that area, we all decide to send him to VCE, and currently have his paid apprenticeship.
Many kids succeed based on their skills (even build their own trade businesses), and they are one of the important parts of our growing economy.
Meanwhile, his sister is very smart in academics and still finishing high school, and plans to take a university degree in the medical field.
TESDA Education offers a lot of good courses and programs that are also recognized in many countries such as Australia. The opportunities are bigger.
I love that there are so many job opportunities TESDA has to offer. We all have our own skills and talents. We must not compare our skills to others because every skill is useful in different industries.
This was a very comprehensive guide. I agree that people who graduate from technical and vocational courses should be given the same opportunities for employment as the rest of us!
they should be treated as equal graduates especially because everyone has different tracks. this is very encouraging as not everyone would like to or is even interested to take other 4-year courses and get their MAs and PhDs.
I’m currently registered with TESDA’s baking cake baking course, but I’ve yet to complete it. I do not belittle TESDA grads, in fact, I’m glad that there is such alternative. Gone are the days when university is the only path to take. That’s why there were so many unhappy professionals in my generation. In fact, we should celebrate every person’s unique gifts and calling, and in effect, pay them what they are truly worth! This is why we homeschool!