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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

398 OSYs of Ungkaya Pukan, Tipo-Tipo complete BEAM-TVET tech-voc training

Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY (PIA) – Out-of-school youths of the municipalities of Ungkaya Pukan and Tipo-Tipo in Basilan receive their certificate of completion Saturday for finishing courses on skills under the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) project of the Department of Education-ARMM.

A total of 398 youths (369 from Ungkaya Pukan and 29 from Tipo-Tipo) completed their respective courses under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)’s accessible TVET, such as baking and pastry, automotive, plumbing, carpentry, garments, and electrical.

DEPED-ARMM Assistant Secretary Noor Mohammad Saada told completers that the graduation and the certificates are just beginnings toward a more challenging journey ahead to find jobs and become productive members of society, i.e. either to engage in entrepreneurship or find suitable employment. With this, he said, that the next step is DepEd-ARMM to work on a jobs fair for the graduates with the POEA. And that DepEd is looking for job offers that only requires NCII (national certification) so that new graduates can avail even without work experience yet as required by most overseas jobs.

He said that Basilan has one thousand slots for the first phase of TVET implementation in the province.

BEAM-TVET Manager Peter Bellen cited the contributions of stakeholders to the project, like the Nagdilaab Foundation, the military, the LGUs, and the different agencies. He said the help and sacrifices, especially by the Nagdilaab staff and technical trainers were crucial to the attainment of the primary goal of TVET which is towards youth’s improved and peaceful living condition.

“Not an easy task, yet not impossible. This is the start towards an improved living condition by acquiring the skills and knowledge. Your children in the future will enjoy the fruits of your labor and sacrifices today,” Bellen said as he stressed that one’s future lies in one’s hands.

Dir. Muida S. Hataman, TESDA Basilan Provincial Director explained that TESDA, given the authority and mandate on the field of skills development is trying the best it can to implement the accessible TVET for the youth most especially to be trained on various skills to alleviate unemployment and fill-in skills demand.

“By accessible, we mean, education and training must be brought to the public without the need to relocating themselves and are able to go to schools located within their communities,” she said, admitting further that there are difficulties due to limited resources at hand in an effort to reach out to the most vulnerable and remotest areas.

“And with the help of our partners like the Nagdilaab this effort was made a lot easier,” she said.

Hataman noted that TESDA trainers travel a lot from Isabela City, the same with the trainees who also face difficulties and challenges of traveling with quite some distance to and from their homes to attend the training. She advised the young trainees not to waste what they have invested on the training and use the skills to uplift their living conditions. 

Addressing the youth as the future of the province, she challenged them to confront that future, as the government is doing so many things to prepare the youth to the challenges each will be facing and equip the youth with the skills and knowledge in order to succeed towards contributing to peace and development.

NFI Board Chairperson Fr. Angel Calvo recalled his stints as missionary in Basilan, saying that his coming back to Basilan is like looking at the whole country, i.e. looking for signs of hope in Basilan.

“I could see the famous circumferential road almost completed; a sign of hope. But the very sign of hope is today’s graduation and culmination—this beautiful ceremony. 

That is why I am very happy. You know, Basilan was and still is my first love. I spent twenty years in Basilan. Now I see flourishing and signs of hope,” he said.

Fr. Calvo expressed his thoughts during the ceremony; something he learned when he was in Basilan. “If you like to feed a family, teach the family plant vegetables. 

If you want to feed the entire village or the municipality, teach them to plant trees. If you want to give food, to feed the whole country, teach the young people. And that is what I learned and I see today in Ungkaya Pukan.”

Supported by the Australian Government through AusAID, the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao program in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) focuses on the most disadvantaged, poor and conflict affected communities. 

This program tackles the issue of low numbers of children who enroll in school, and stay to complete their schooling. It also addresses poor learning results in elementary and secondary schools.

According to AusAID website the project will enable about 40,000 children to access pre-school and elementary school. It will provide: pre-school classes in around 1,300 remote Muslim communities; education for children affected by conflict; 1,500 classrooms; and 100 water facilities. It will establish six centers to produce learning materials and provide health programs in 300 schools. It will also improve livelihood skills for 15,000 out-of-school youth.

 The overall program spans six years (2011-2017) but will start out as a four-year input (2011 to 2015).