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More graduates are being upskilled by TESDA in preparation for the ‘post-pandemic’ workforce.

TESDA’s scholarship and upskilling programs benefited more people in 2021 than the previous year, despite the lingering threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The relaxation of community constraints has enabled us to further increase performance figures this year in terms of our supply of training and certification,” Secretary Isidro Lapea told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

As of December 22, there were 1,126,915 students enrolled and 1,059,291 graduates. This is a huge improvement over the 802,218 enrollment and 715,158 graduates projected for 2020, according to Lapena.

Due to the fact that face-to-face testing is now permitted in most parts of the country, TESDA was able to examine 619,769 people and certify 570,129 workers in various qualifications this year.

On the other hand, the TESDA Online Program (TOP) is constantly being expanded to give more people access to tech-voc training, including those who live abroad.

More than 2.14 million Filipinos have registered in the TOP since the community quarantine was established in March 2020.

As of December 20, there are 115 different courses in the TOP. In 2021, 1,090,530 people registered in these courses, with 961,151 of them completing them. According to Lapea, the figure includes 72,476 international workers and their dependents.

“TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs,” TESDA’s flagship program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), has been emphasizing on upskilling and retooling returned OFWs and their dependents. As of December 15, there were 26,989 OFWs and their dependents enrolled in various training programs, with 25,579 graduating.

“This is a significant increase from the 6,435 enrolled and 5,058 graduated OFWs in 2020,” added Lapena.

A total of 10,066 OFWs were evaluated, with 9,508 receiving National Certificates.

“I am grateful to the men and women of TESDA because, despite the problems posed by the epidemic, we continued to carry out our mandate, providing services even in remote locations,” Lapena said.

“TESDA Abot Lahat,” TESDA’s guiding concept, has pushed all of the organization’s personnel to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible and provide them with the finest available tech-voc training. During the pandemic, he said, the agency’s services were made more accessible and relevant.

More people will be reached.

TESDA’s mission, according to Lapea, has always been to equip and qualify students to start a career or help them find work following training.

More assessment centers have been built to make competency assessment more accessible, particularly for qualifications in high demand outside. As of November, there were 112 Domestic Works NC II authorized assessment centers in 16 locations.

The TESDA has been steadily improving its infrastructure by constructing training centers throughout the country. Two provincial training facilities, one in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) and the other in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, were built this year.

TESDA also wants to improve its digital infrastructures by implementing a biometric scholarship registration system, according to Lapea (BSRS).

“To make the process smoother, facial recognition will be used in the attendance and registration of scholars. This will help protect the scholarship registration system’s integrity “he stated

Lapena also praised the public for continuing to have faith in the agency and for appreciating the work it has done.

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