TVET (technical-vocation education and training) graduates who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree program and increase their chances of getting employed can now see a level playing field through the three-year diploma programs promoted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
During the public consultation meeting on the Omnibus Guidelines on the Packaging of PQF (Philippine Qualifications Framework) Level 5 held via Zoom on August 5, 2020, the diploma program is seen as a response to the need to upskill learners into highly competitive and innovative Filipino workforce armed with 21st century skills leading to a better chance for permanency and ascent in the industrial world, let alone providing a pathway to higher education through a credit transfer system. Entry-level requirements into the program may not be limited to senior high school graduates to provide opportunities to other students who wish to enroll in the diploma program.
The diploma program is aligned with 17 program learning outcomes, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 technological advancement, and references to both provisions of the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework and the Sydney Accord.
About 500 participants from TESDA offices, TESDA Technology institutions, and accredited TVET institutions (TVIs) gathered on the virtual platform to clarify issues ranging from the registration of diploma programs to the implementation of flexible learning delivery. TESDA Board Member Isidro Antonio Asper of the labor sector and TESDA Regional Director Gaspar Gayona of Region VI took turns to answer questions raised by TVIs.
RD Gayona clarified terminologies in the guidelines veering away the provisions intended for skills development into rebranding the technical education of TESDA. He said terms such as “instructors” should be replaced with “learning facilitators”, “courses” instead of “subjects”, “teaching process” into “learning process”, and emphasized that TVIs should develop an enabling learning environment wherein learners can already manage their own learning process with less intervention from their facilitators.
National Institute for Technical Education and Skills Development (NITESD) Director David Bungallon also answered concerns on flexible learning delivery emphasizing that attendance taking can be better replaced with “output” by the learners which can be drawn in the learner engagement plan. For technology-based subjects that require face to face, a learner may be given an “incomplete” grade pending upon the completion of the course when in-person training is permitted.
Also discussed in the consultation were the need for not more than 12 NC as required by the program, an enterprise-based training in the form of apprenticeship every semester, integrated curriculum which discourages all-General Education offering, and industry consultations to enrich the program delivery.
The use of T2MIS as a monitoring tool is also in works to give TESDA a clear picture of how many TVET graduates have completed the program, those who exited the program, and those who pursued higher education. CITE was represented by the Academic Council.