The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is encouraging and promoting public-private engagement in technical-vocational education and training (TVET) to prepare the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), according to a TESDA official.
Charlyn B. Justimbaste, officer-in-charge of TESDA’s Project Development Division-Planning Office, said “the best way to respond to the 4IR is to re-partner with the industry” since this sector can provide the actual TVET environment workers need.
“In TESDA we are strengthening private sector engagement in TVET so we would like to really stress the enterprise-based training as the dominant delivery mode for TVET,” Justimbaste, who spoke at a recent education forum, said.
As part of this thrust, “we conducted recently a joint planning with the PCCI-the private sector-on how we could have a shared vision of pursuing a strengthened enterprise-based TVET in the country,” she continued.
Justimbaste also cited other initiatives toward enterprise-based TVET. These include the issuance by TESDA of a circular on strengthening and institutionalizing industry engagement at the school level.
The TESDA executive said there are currently 122 TESDA technology institutions across the country, with the agency eyeing a more sector- and local-based TVET delivery for these schools.
To do this, she said they are encouraging industry participation in the advisory councils of these learning centers. “We encourage some of you to be part of the advisory councils of our schools because it should be government, industry and academe that should be part of the advisory councils of the school.”
She stressed the difference of having an “outside perspective” as these schools don’t know what industry needs. “We really want to have the stakeholders in the area to be part of the advisory council.”.
Also part of the TESDA’s response to the 4IR is the revival of the industry boards, which Justimbaste said are supposed to help develop the curriculum and set standards. “We’re now accepting the participation of all those sectors to be part of the industry board.”
According to the TESDA website, the agency early this year released guidelines that aim to “recognize Industry Boards (IBs) or Industry Associations (IAs) as partners in the delivery of TVET programs or services.”
“The establishment of institutional arrangements with IBs or IAs shall encourage active participation of various concerned industries in providing relevant technical education and skills development opportunities, being direct participants in and immediate beneficiaries of a trained and skilled workforce,” the guidelines said.
The industry sectors primarily include those that are considered to be key employment generators such as construction, tourism, agri-business, wholesale and retail, health and wellness, and automotive/transport.
The recognized IBs and IAs will serve as the “conduit” of the industry in the design and implementation of projects, programs and activities in TVET of TESDA.
Part of their responsibilities will include giving TESDA recommendations in conceptualizing and executing skills development schemes, and skills standardization and certification. The IBs and IAs will likewise assist in developing competency standards, curriculum, and sectoral skills plans and assessment tools.