THE SENATE Finance Committee has provided an additional P50 million to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) proposed P15.2-billion budget for next year to hire more assessors, a senator said on Sunday.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said that with the increased budget, TESDA will accredit and hire more than 11,000 technical-vocational-livelihood (TVL) assessors next year to increase its current pool of 7,500.

“The P50-million proposal will increase the number of our assessors so that our senior high school graduates can be assessed and once they have the national certification, they can present that whenever they look for employment,” Mr. Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Committee on Basic Education, said.

The budget increase would also assist TESDA in its rollout of the free assessment and certification of 420,967 Grade 12 students who are taking the TVL track. 

Citing Department of Education data for School Year 2020-2021, Mr. Gatchalian said only 6.7% or 32,965 out of the 473,911 senior high school graduates who took the TVL track underwent assessment for national certification. He noted that many students cannot afford to undergo these assessments and certifications.

Earlier, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Philippines has to develop the technical and vocational education training sector to boost workers’ competitiveness.

Data from the ADB showed that 21% of children from middle-income countries who are of school age by 2030 will not learn basic primary-level skills due to the learning loss incurred during the coronavirus pandemic. — John Victor D. Ordoñez