Fresh funds have been allocated to a major program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help high school graduates pursue technical-vocational education or tech-voc.
The 2015 budget gives the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) a P200-million fund for this year for the training of 21,053 students in various private institutions all over the country.
PESFA is a key program of TESDA which aims to extend financial assistance to marginalized but deserving students in tech-voc courses, and to assist private institutions in their development efforts by assuring a steady supply of enrollees to their course offerings.
PESFA grantees are entitled to the free training cost, training and book allowances, and free competency assessment after graduation.
"We are giving poor but deserving students the same opportunity to pursue their education after high school," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.
"Just imagine how much better our society would be if these students would not become a burden to society, got educated and are productively involved in the economy," Villanueva added.
The PESFA vouchers would be issued to the TESDA regional offices, which will release them to the provincial and district offices of the agency. These offices would in turn distribute the vouchers to private institutions where the grantees will enroll.
The allocation of the vouchers will be based on the government secondary schools' number of completers/promotees/graduates for 2012-2013 sourced from the Department of Education's basic information education information system and the 2012 estimated poverty incidence data from the National Statistics Coordination Board.
At least five percent of the allocation per region will be set aside for persons with disability pursuing technical vocational courses in compliance with the Magna Cart a for Persons with Disability.
After completing their courses, the PESFA grantees are required to undergo the competency assessment to determine if they are eligible to be certified and given a National Certificate by TESDA. END