Legislators seek more funding, bigger role for industry in upgrading vocational programs

Legislators seek more funding, bigger role for industry in upgrading vocational programs

LEGISLATORS said they support more funding and industry participation in developing technical-vocational education and training (TVET) to improve enrollees’ job prospects.

A report by the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II), a panel composed of legislators and educators tasked to review the education industry after the pandemic, cited the need to review TVET scholarship policies to be more responsive to the needs of learners, and to rationalize enterprise-based learning policies.

EDCOM II also sought increased funding for training programs and scholarships.

At a House plenary session on Monday, Pasig Rep. Roman T. Romulo said that community-based training programs for 3.7 million TVET learners are non-compliant with training regulations, citing the absence of proper government assessment and certification standards.

He added that less than 15% of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) 2,203 programs lead to a national certification.

“This underscores the critical gap in aligning skills acquisition with recognized standards, hindering the advanced of our large — but mostly uncertified — skilled workforce,” Mr. Romulo said.

EDCOM II called for an “industry-driven incentive framework” for industry to help in enhancing the skills of TVET learners.

“Industry participation remains limited and prohibitive,” Mr. Romulo told the plenary, citing stakeholders’ issues on paperwork and delays by government agencies.

“We must invest in higher-level qualifications that align with the dynamic demands of the labor market. This requires a transformation in bureaucratic systems, making them more agile and responsive to the rapidly changing needs of industry,” he added.

The report also called on TESDA to centralize its management information system to track its respective programs and trainees.

TESDA had 1.26 million enrollees and 1.23 million graduates last year, according to its 2022 annual report. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz