PH to launch nat’l tech education plan in automation age

MANILA — The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will launch in the last quarter of 2018 its five-year national technical education and skills development plan (NTESDP) to face the challenges posed by the automation age.

TESDA Deputy Director General Rosanna Urdaneta said the NTESDP is the agency’s response to the challenges of the so-called “Industry 4.0.”

Industry 4.0 is defined as “the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing, and cognitive computing.”

At the 4th High Officials Meeting on Southeast Asia – Technical Vocational Education and Training (SEA-TVET) that the Philippines hosted last month, Urdaneta highlighted that the NTESDP was crafted to lead towards sustainable growth, and to help develop work-ready and globally competitive workers.

She said TESDA presented the plan to the Cabinet and to the President last August, and the plan has been approved.

“We will focus on Sustainable Development Goals numbers 4 and 8, particularly anchoring towards education, technology, climate change mitigation,” she added.

TESDA, she said, has developed strategies, as it envisions the country to offer more decent work and offer technical and vocational education and training for global competitiveness and workforce.

Among the challenges is meeting the huge demand for a skilled workforce.

“NTESDP will promote a flexible and agile system in TVET,” she remarked.

To do this, Urdaneta said, TESDA will strengthen cooperation with industry associations, as well as extend the TVET capacity in key growth areas.

TESDA will also invest in research and statistics, she added.

“Our three strategic responses are agility, scalability, and flexibility. We will have innovative ways of doing things and keep pace with the industry. We will adopt flexible systems of qualifications and standards,” she said.

She added that in preparing the Filipino workforce for the challenges posed by Industry 4.0, TESDA will have the enterprise-based training as a dominant mode of training, and will also accelerate the establishment of industry guides.

Urdaneta said among the funding priorities in the country are construction, tourism, IT, and business process outsourcing industries.

She said TESDA included in its plan the intensification of industry participation in design development, assessment of policies, and programs.

“(The agency) will instill values and advocate total quality management in TVET,” she said, adding that TESDA will constantly communicate with partners to identify skills that may not be needed in 10 to 20 years. (PNA)