COTABATO CITY -- Some 23,000 trainees of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (TESDA - ARMM) have signified their intention in advancing their capabilities through free Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs.

Omarkhayyam Dalagan, TESDA-ARMM director, said on Tuesday that a TVET enrollment day held nationwide last February 27-28 enticed 23,000 individuals in the ARMM alone to avail of TESDA’s open skills training courses.

Among the courses offered are food processing, dressmaking, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, computer system servicing, health care services, motorcycle/small engine servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, among others.

Dalagan said TESDA graduates will undergo competency assessment to determine whether they can perform within the standard expected in the workplace, based on defined competency benchmarks.

Passers are then provided with a TESDA national certificate.

In 2017, TESDA-ARMM trained a total of 26,638 individuals and assessed 7,297 of whom – or 87.5 percent - as competent skilled workers. On same year, a total of 11,153 scholarship slots were awarded by TESDA-ARMM amounting to over PHP81 million covering programs under the Training for Work Scholarship Program, Private Education Student Financial Assistance, and Skills Training for Employment Program.

Dalagan said TESDA’s services are not limited to providing skills training. “Also included in our core services is the Unified TVET Program Registration and Acceleration System (UTPRAS) where we register institutions that also offers technical vocational courses,” he said.

Dalagan said they call it “unified” for UTPRAS “because what is applicable in other regions is also being implemented in ARMM.” Under the UTPRAS, 70 new training programs were registered across the five provinces of the region. Dalagan also said that ARMM is promoting the Community-Based Training and Enterprise Development (CBTED), one of the TVET programs, especially for internally displaced persons in Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur.

He said ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has allocated PHP10-M for the implementation of the program for conflict-affected communities. (PNA)