Want to get into technical-vocational study but can't go to a classroom? Need an updated listing of job openings in the country and abroad? Eyeing to start a business and want to know where skilled workers are?
All these and more may soon be found in just one website that students, employers, businessmen, trainers and even government workers can go to -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
"We should always be reminded that TESDA should be technical. TESDA should be the number one techie government agency," Secretary Joel Villanueva, Director General of the agency, said.
He said that efforts to enhance the TESDA Online Program (TOP) should be bolstered, stressing that "the trend and future direction of learning is online."
The agency has partnerships with big names in the information technology industry such as Google, GSM, and Autodesk to help it enhance the use of technology in the delivery of training to the youth and to make its own systems efficient.
"I hope that these partnerships give us enough motivation to pursue the use of technology in our work," he said.
The TESDA chief pitched for the agency to spearhead a technology research development program that will propagate a culture of research among technical vocational institutions (TVIs).
"I encourage our regional directors to identify TVIs that need support in technology research. Let's nurture them, extract insights, and replicate best practices," he said.
"Let's do more: let's get into better data and information management. Let's make it more transactional especially to our clients. We want employers and investors who want to set-up a business in the country to efficiently locate the availability of skilled workers by type of skills, sector, and geographical location," he said.
He said businessmen, for example, eyeing to invest in a hotel business in Cebu should be able to check online the availability of skilled workers such as bartenders, chefs, baristas, tour guides and the like.
He called on the private sector to partner with the agency in the development of the TESDA Information System Strategic Plan (ISSP).
"We've proven that public-private partnerships (PPP) in techvoc will never run out of style. Let's start by quantifying these partnerships," he said.
Villanueva said he would also continue to beat the drum to build public support for the TOP.
Recent data from Google Analytics showed that page views for http://www.e-tesda.gov.ph
reached 5,117,681 since it went online in May 2012 up to January 15, 2014.
The website has 499,533 unique visitors, according to the data. To date, TOP has recorded a total of 25,631 students enrolled in various courses.
A post by one user of the online program http://www.jbsolis.com/2014/02/free-study-online-with-tesda-anywhere.html
recently went viral, generating close to 12,000 Facebook likes and 11,000 shares.
The post which said "Free Study Online with TESDA Anywhere You Are" also gathered numerous comments and inquiries from users interested in availing the courses.
It featured video culled from the TESDA website and various information about the available courses, and contact details of the agency.
Villanueva said that the online program made tech-voc courses within reach of the Filipinos wherever they are.
"The intention is noble: to prove that the stigma that assigned a second-rate status to techvoc is no longer there. We want more Filipino youth choose tech-voc, access jobs, declare 'Ako’y TATAK TESDA', inspire others that techvoc is the way to go," he said.