Senator Joel Villanueva called on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to strengthen enterprise-based training (EBT), or programs that are developed within companies and firms.
“We keep saying that EBT is the best way to improve outcomes and employability, yet we have not increased the number of graduates in this modality. We want to know the barriers to entry for EBT and how these barriers differ by industry”, Senator Villanueva said during the alignment meeting of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) and TESDA, the principal government agency tasked with technical vocational training.
“Out of the total TVET graduates, only four percent come from enterprise-based training”, Villanueva stressed. He contrasted the figure to the 46% who graduate from community-based training, which are programs primarily addressed to marginal groups who cannot access or are not accessible by formal training provisions.
Senator Villanueva, who served as the Director General of TESDA from 2010 to 2015, lamented that those figures have stayed static over the last five years, with no signs of significant improvement.
Senator Villanueva is the Co-Chairperson of the Standing Committee on TVET and Lifelong Learning. Also in attendance were EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson Senator Win Gatchalian, EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson Rep. Roman Romulo, Commissioner Rep. Pablo John Garcia, and members of the EDCOM 2 Advisory Council and Standing Committee.
Senator Gatchalian meanwhile highlighted the dismal uptake in higher levels of training, “I’m quite concerned hearing that for NC IV, it’s only 0.16% [of total TVET graduates]”.
Gatchalian stressed the importance of striving for increasing uptake in NC4 and NC5 courses, which are supposed to be equivalent to a college degree and teaches higher-level skills and competencies. “These NC I, NC II , these are very simple skills. We’re just certifying them, but we’re not creating value”, he said.
“There must be something wrong, why are we not creating value? So I want to hear from TESDA, how do we solve this?” Senator Gatchalian added.
The TESDA delegation was led by Director General Danilo Cruz, together with Deputy Director General (DDG) for Policies and Planning Rosanna A. Urdaneta, DDG for TESD Operations Aniceto D. Bertiz III, DDG for Administrative and Finance Josefino I. Torres, DDG for Special Concerns Vidal D. Villanueva III, and other officials of the agency.
In the alignment meeting, EDCOM 2 Executive Director Dr. Karol Mark Yee and TESDA Director General Cruz also signed a data sharing agreement which enables both parties to share findings, statistics, studies, and other necessary information that will help EDCOM 2 formulate policies to address the country’s education woes.
EDCOM 2 is the Congressional body created through RA11899, tasked to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector. In the next three years, it will also recommend legislation that aims to address the education crisis in the country.