Senator Urges TESDA to Ensure Assessors for Free Certification of 400,000 Graduates

Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urges TESDA to ensure sufficient assessors for free assessment and certification of 400,000 senior high school graduates in the technical-vocational track. The 2024 national budget allocates P438 million for the program, aiming to boost employability and address the country's skills gap.

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Senator Urges TESDA to Ensure Assessors for Free Certification of 400,000 Graduates

Senator Urges TESDA to Ensure Assessors for Free Certification of 400,000 Graduates

Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is calling on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to ensure there are sufficient assessors for the free assessment and certification of over 400,000 senior high school graduates in the technical-vocational livelihood (TVL) track. The 2024 national budget has allocated P438 million for this program, which aims to boost the employability of these graduates.

Why this matters: This initiative has the potential to significantly improve the job prospects of hundreds of thousands of students, addressing the country's skills gap and contributing to economic growth. By investing in vocational training and certification, the government can increase the competitiveness of its workforce and attract more investments.

Senator Gatchalian, who proposed the funding for the assessment and issuance of national certifications, emphasized the importance of having enough assessors to implement the program. "Magandang balita para sa mga senior high school graduates natin sa tech-voc track na libre na ang assessment at certification para sa kanila. Mahalagang hakbang ito upang tumaas ang tsansa nilang magkaroon ng magandang trabaho kapag sila'y nakatapos na," he said. ("This is good news for our senior high school graduates in the tech-voc track, as they will now have free assessment and certification. This is an important step to increase their chances of getting good jobs after graduation.").

To support the rollout of the free assessment and certification program, the 2024 national budget has allocated an additional P50.012 million to expand TESDA's pool of assessors. This funding is expected to increase the number of assessors from the current 7,551 to around 19,000 by the end of 2024.

The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has also called for greater private sector involvement in reviewing the technical-vocational education and training (TVET) track in the country's basic education program. PBEd Executive Director Justine B. Raagas stated, "The industry support in all these efforts is crucial." She urged business leaders to open work-based training opportunities that lead to employment for students.

The senior high school (SHS) program, which was implemented in 2016 as part of the K-12 basic education reform, aims to provide students with skills to thrive in their chosen paths after graduation. It includes a technical-vocational-livelihood track that equips students with job-ready skills. TESDA, along with the Departments of Education and Labor and Employment and the Commission on Higher Education, signed a joint memorandum in 2019 to facilitate curriculum development, certification, and employment linkages for the TVL track.

With the P438 million allocation for free assessment and certification of TVL graduates and the expansion of TESDA's assessor pool, the government aims to enhance the employability of the over 400,000 students graduating from this track in 2024. Senator Gatchalian's Batang Magaling Bill, filed in the Senate, seeks to ensure the program's effective implementation to boost job prospects for technical-vocational graduates.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian calls for sufficient assessors for free assessment and certification of 400,000 senior high school TVL graduates.
  • P438 million allocated in 2024 national budget for the program to boost employability of TVL graduates.
  • Additional P50.012 million allocated to expand TESDA's pool of assessors from 7,551 to 19,000 by end-2024.
  • Philippine Business for Education urges private sector involvement in reviewing TVET track and providing work-based training opportunities.
  • Program aims to address skills gap, increase competitiveness, and attract investments in the Philippines.