EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson and Senate Basic Education Committee Chair Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and EDCOM 2 Commissioner Senator Joel Villanueva flagged that the government wasted an estimated P2.77 billion on community-based TESDA scholars that did not undergo assessment.
“If you look at the data…community-based ay napakalaki ng total, eh.”, Villanueva said, pointing out that, according to TESDA data, 36.21% of their graduates come from community-based programs.
Villanueva noted that, out of the 44,000 clients enrolled in community-based TESDA programs this year, only 17,995 were able to graduate so far. Out of that number, only 4,086 obtained a Certificate of Competency (CoC), and, from that set, only 3,937 were awarded a National Certificate. “What happened to the balance?”, Villanueva asked.
“The government paid for the training, they went to our scholarship program, but in the end, they were not assessed, therefore the training becomes useless. Because without assessment and CoC, how can they get a job?”, Gatchalian asked.
Lack of assessors a big issue
TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz III pointed out that the agency is challenged in scheduling assessments, as well as lacking in the number of assessors to conduct these assessments. He also noted that TESDA currently has 7,593 assessors.
Villanueva pointed out that, considering that there is an estimated 1.5M clients in the entire TVET sector in the country, the number would amount to 197 clients per assessor.
“Ang point ko lang – kulang na kulang ‘yung assessors”, Villanueva said.
SHS-TVL assessment pushed
Gatchalian is also pushing for the certification of students in the Senior High School – Technical Vocational Livelihood (SHS-TVL) track to improve their employability. He proposes to include P1 billion in the proposed budget for the certification of around 400,000 SHS-TVL students.
“The EDCOM is strongly suggesting, and we are moving here in the Senate to add around P1.5 billion to assess and hopefully certify all the P470,000 senior high school learners who take TVL,” Gatchalian said.
“Training is not the end goal. The end goal is to be assessed and certified”, Gatchalian added.
According to Gatchalian, only 7% of students in the SHS-TVL track took the TESDA assessment and certification. He pointed out, however, that funding assessments and certifications is a worthy investment because the passing rate of SHS-TVL learners who take the certification is around 98%. “We don’t want an answer na ‘hindi namin kaya’”. Because we already generated the funds, it’s up to TESDA now to generate the assessors”, he continued.
TESDA Director General Suharto Mangudadatu proposed training teachers and district supervisors from the Department of Education as TESDA trainers and assessors, respectively.
“I just don’t know what DepEd will say, on training their supervisors…I know that they have other things to do. I would suggest thinking about a plan A, plan B, plan C…DepEd might not agree”, Gatchalian said.