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PIA Press Release

GMA's tek-bok scholarship program graduates 10,443 IN CAR in 2009

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (29 May) -- Education is one of the main thrust of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and being considered as one of the milestone in her governance is the provision of technical and vocational scholarship to thousands of Filipino students, through the Technical Education and Skills Training Authority (TESDA).

In the Cordillera, the TESDA's Pangulong Gloria Scholarship (PGS) produced 10,443 graduates broken down to 5,004 from Baguio/Benguet, 1,615 from Kalinga, 1,419 from Abra, 1,047 from Mt. Province, 917 from Ifugao and 441 from Apayao.

The program was allotted P91 million scholarship fund from the national government for the provision of free Technical/Vocational (Tek-Bok), plus a P60 daily allowance to deserving students all over the region.

In a Kapihan forum Wednesday, TESDA-CAR Assistant Regional Director Emmanuel Dabalos stressed that TESDA's program last year centered on the PGS, and this contributed in providing massive Tek-Bok Educational Training to 48,734 individuals in the region including school, institution, enterprise and community- based trainings.

Dabalos also affirmed that based on their initial monitoring, this translates to about 50 percent employment or job placement rate locally or abroad. In 2009, a total of 5,502 employed graduates were documented. It was also noted that 38 percent or 3,971 of this employed individuals are beneficiaries of the PGS program.

Aside from the scholarship and trainings, TESDA also provides Tek-Bok skills competency assessment and certification, which also plays a big factor or credential for employment, locally or abroad. In 2009, TESDA-CAR certified 19,636 individuals in the region, which is equivalent to about 78 percent of those who applied for assessment/certification.

To give further assistance for a higher employment probability of Filipino workers especially those who want to work abroad, TESDA also included Language Skills Institutions (LSI) in its programs. There are two LSIs in the region - one in Kalinga which offers English Proficiency Program and at the Regional Training Center in Loakan, which offers English, Korean and Nihonggo Proficiency Programs. The Kalinga and Baguio LSI produced 174 and 368 graduates in 2009 respectively.

Dabalos bared that while awaiting for the transition to a new national government administration, TESDA-CAR has initially allocated a P5 million scholarship fund which would cover about 620 scholars.

According to Dabalos, they have already submitted a work and financial plan conveying a similar program that was implemented in 2009, which they also hope to be approved by the next administration as this would be a big factor in forwarding the education sector and the employment rate of the country. (PIA) [top]

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