What TESDA is doing to prepare for tech-voc in K to 12

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) estimated that, by 2016, as senior high school is rolled out nationwide, 4,553 schools will open up 596,000 slots to students who will take the technical-vocational-livelihood (TVL) track.

This is 48.7% of the total 1.2 million estimated enrollees in DepEd senior high schools.

Both DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education have reported to Congress their preparations for the full implementation of the K to 12 program, but what is the third agency in system doing?

During the budget hearing of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Wednesday, September 2, the agency said it has a partnership with DepEd that will continue until summer of 2016 "so that we are well-prepared."

"As we are nearing the official start of the K to 12 program in June next year, we are heavily working with DepEd in the training of [Technology and Livelihood Education and TVL] teachers in assessment and certification...and in the preparation of learning materials for TLE [and TVL]," TESDA Deputy Director General for Policies and Planning Irene Isaac told lawmakers.

This national partnership is with public schools, but Isaac said the agency's regional and provincial offices are also extending assistance to private schools. (READ: Senior high experiment: The case of QC's Roces school)

But A Teacher Partylist Representative Mariano Piamonte Jr asked if students in remote areas will have access to "more sophisticated" TVL courses. (READ: What senior high school tracks fit your locality?)

"Students there will have very limited choices as regards tech-voc courses…. They need more sophisticated tech-voc courses like plumbing...welding, masonry, because these students cannot go down to towns where some TESDA schools are located. There are many barangays in the remote areas with high schools," he added.

Isaac assured that strands under the TLE and TVL track that will be offered in accredited senior high schools were identified based on a study conducted by DepEd and TESDA.

This means both agencies identified the courses carefully, so students can expect offerings that are "sophisticated," as Piamonte put it.

Will there be a senior high school near you? Check out this Rappler map to find out. (MAP: DepEd schools that will offer senior high in 2016) – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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