MANILA, Philippines – The “Strengthened Technical-Vocational Education Program (STVEP), which the Department of Education (DepEd) launched in school year (SY) 2007-2008, has gone a long way in propping up, vitalizing and popularizing technical-vocation education (TVE) in public secondary schools.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro explained that the move to implement the STVEP was initiated by the Tech-Voc Task Force (TVTF) in line with the objectives of Education For All (EFA) global movement, the Philippines Millennium Development Goals, the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), and the 10-point agenda of the Philippine Government.
The STVEP, an effective strategy to properly address the perennial problem of poverty, is designed to provide utmost development of the individual as a total person equipped with technical-vocational and academic competencies, proper work ethics and desirable values that will make the person economically-stable, responsible, law-abiding, productive and competitive in the world of work.
Specifically, the program seeks to equip students with certifiable technical, vocational, and industrial and other relevant skills to be productive citizen of the country, improve high school (HS) students’ performance in skills and academic competence, achievement tests, accreditation and equivalency for certification programs and upgrade the competency of tech-voc teachers in the delivery of basic and certifiable skills in different courses through skills trainings, seminars and formal studies, Luistro explained in his recently released “Summary of Accomplishments” which was furnished to the Philippine STAR by TVTF Director III Demi Manuel.
The DepEd chief said the decision to fortify TVE was based on the result of the first National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) in SY 2006-2007 for graduating public and private HS students which revealed that out of 1.3 million examinees, only 3.76 percent had the aptitude for college while close to 60 percent had the inclination to entrepreneurship and in the other areas of TVE.
An earlier agency study, Luistro added, also noted that in 2007, most of the unfilled openings in the industry were technical positions, “yet there was hardly any available manpower supply from the labor market”; thus the launching of the STVEP in 2007 also sought to contribute to community and rural development by helping solve the job skills gap in the said market as it provides HS graduates with required skills duly certified by the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the office mandated for tech-voc skills development in the country.
Luistro stressed that the in the global area, TVE is recognized as the “master key to sustainable development” which prompted President Aquino, in his 2010 blue print for education, to enjoin public high schools “to bring back TVE to better link schooling to local industry needs and employment.”
282 schools implement technical-vocational program
A total of 282 technical-vocational secondary schools (mostly earlier converted through legislation from general high schools) in 16 regions started the enforcement in school year (SY) 2007-2008 the Department of Education (DepEd) Strengthened Technical-Vocational Education Program (STVEP) using the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
The CBC — prepared and packaged by an adhoc committee composed of experts from the Voc-Tech practitioners, academe, Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and industries — consists of learning competencies that tech-voc schools’ students should acquire so they could be absorbed in the field of work or venture into entrepreneurship if they opt not to go to college.
Putting high premium to building the capacities of tech-voc implementors (teachers, principals/administrators, supervisors and non-teaching personnel), the DepEd initially conducted for them several appropriate trainings which required each of them to produce specific output that will be enforced upon return to his/her workplace
Of the country’s 282 tech-voc institutions, 157 are classified as arts and trade schools, 80 as agricultural institutions and 45 as fishery learning centers.
Curricular offerings of a school of arts and trade include automotive technology, building construction, cosmetology, drafting, electronics, food trades, garments, machining, PC hardware servicing, plumbing, refrigeration and air-conditioning, and welding.
On the other hand, school of agriculture offers crop production, vegetable production, animal production and food processing while school of fisheries presents fish culture, fish processing and fish capture.
Aside from their respective regular curricular offerings, the three types of tech-voc schools have three mandate subjects, namely, Internet and Computing Fundamentals from first to third year, Technical Drawing from second to third year, and Entrepreneurship from third to fourth year.
To ensure that students acquire necessary skills in their different lines of specialization, the DepEd has partnered and linked not only with TESDA but also with the Quezon City-based Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization-Innovation Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH), Microsoft Philippines, Meralco Foundation, Inc. (MFI), Don Bosco Technical School, Petron Philippines, San Beda College, Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education, and CISCO Networking System of the Philippines.
Moreover, the education department allocated additional teacher plantilla items for the same learning centers starting with 328 new tutor positions in SY 2007-2008, 159 posts in 2008-2009 and 300 items each in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 or a total of 1,078 tutor posts during the four SY period of the STVEP. –J. Antonio Rimando (The Philippine Star)