Bertiz: TESDA relentless in upgrading workers’ skills

TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Deputy Director General Aniceto “John” Bertiz III has assured President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte that the agency has been relentless in providing training to workers aimed at upgrading and providing them with new skills amid the continued threat of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

Bertiz, a former ACTS-OFW party-list congressman, said TESDA is doing its very best to comply with the President’s order in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of ensuring that local workers and even overseas Filipino workers’ (OWFs) skills will remain competitive during their next job opportunities and deployment abroad.

“At TESDA, we will continue to push for our skills training courses not only to reskill and upskill our workers so that they can find employment here or redeployment abroad but also to link them up to financial assistance so that they can rebuild their livelihoods,” said Bertiz.

“Sa gitna ng krisis, maraming bagay ang maaari nating pagtulungan upang maibangon ang ating mga kapatid na nawalan ng trabaho at kabuhayan. Kailangan nating magkapit kamay upang harapin ang pagsubok na may ngiti at pag-asa na tayo ay muling magwawagi,” Bertiz stressed.

“Along with our partners, TESDA remains fully committed to the whole-of-government, whole-of-society and whole-of-system efforts to win this war against coronavirus pandemic and help our workers recover from their losses sooner than most of us hope,” Bertiz assured.  He also lauded President Duterte’s directives in his 5th SONA to help the displaced workers.

“It showed his sincere and genuine concern about how our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents struggle to make both ends meet during this coronavirus pandemic. His directives are also clear reminders for all of us to support and cooperate in all public and private efforts to smother the further spread of the coronavirus and to mitigate its impact to our people, particularly those who have lost their jobs and livelihood,” said Bertiz.

PRESIDENT’S SONA SHOULD PROMPT DEPED  TO POSTPONE OPENING OF CLASSES

Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong said President Duterte’s 5th SONA should serve as a notice for the Department of Education
(DepEd) and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to postpone the opening of classes scheduled next month.

Ong said the DepEd and the IATF-EID should take their cue from the President who admitted that that the country’s educational system is not yet ready to resume classes because of inadequate and inefficient digital infrastructure that could support the so-called “blended learning” program.

In his SONA, President Duterte has admonished the country’s telecommunications industry for their poor signal and slow internet connection which are key in ensuring the viability of the DepEd’s proposed “blended” mode of conducting its classes.

Ong said the President clearly said that “courses that are not substantial can be supplemented” and “education that is delayed can be recovered” in expressing his concern on the opening of classes despite the absence of a vaccine.

He said that even the President was clearly aware that the needed digital and physical infrastructure and the materials needed are not yet ready for DepEd’s blended learning program which also seeks to tap the use of the television as part of its mode of instructions.

“To my mind, this particular statement of the president is a marching order for Education Secretary Leonor Briones to postpone the opening of classes and make sure that all the requirement needed to implement the blended learning program must be set it place.  Like the President said, education that is delayed can be recovered, so I really hope that the DepEd should at least move the opening of classes to September or until it is really ready to implement a blended type of conducting classes,” Ong said.

For one, access to internet by every learner, especially those in remote areas, is yet to be ensured and established. No less than President Duterte has expressed rage over the poor and inefficient services of the country’s telecommunications companies that are also internet service providers (ISPs), he said

He even threatened the telcos to expropriate their assets if they cannot improve their service by the end of December.

“We cannot resume classes relying on online learning without ensuring they have access to internet. Moreover, we cannot rely alone on private companies to invest on internet towers, as they themselves focus first on returns of their investment. Our government should start investing on infrastructures as well for better, faster, and accessible internet connection and telco sites to equip our learners and teachers for online distance learning,” Ong said.