Opening address at the Learner-centred STEM in TVET national workshop graduation

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Learner-centred STEM in TVET national workshop graduation, 30 May 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 30 May 2022
  • Secretary Isidro Lapeña, Deputy-Director General Rosanna Urdaneta and officials of TESDA;
  • Ms Rebecca Shah, Political Counsellor at British Embassy Manila;
  • Representatives from the country’s tech-voc institutions, especially TVET trainers graduating today;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (good morning to all of you)!
It is an honour to join you for the Trainers of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) Learner-Centered STEM in TVET graduation. First, let me congratulate the graduates and appreciate our partners for making this possible.

Today’s event affirms our shared goal of ensuring access to quality education and training is guaranteed for all Filipinos, and recognizes the value in jointly identifying and pursuing better training delivery approaches so they are available to those who need it most, consistent with TESDA’s mantra of reaching everyone or abot-lahat.

It is crucial to enhance capacities of TVET trainers as frontliners in training delivery. As recovery begins, we must equip workers for a better, new normal. To prepare the workforce for these changes, TVET education, training and lifelong learning programmes must promote skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking systems, and complex problem-solving.

Supporting these transitions requires a dynamic education and training delivery system that offers skills upgrading and learning support to those vulnerable to labour market disruptions.

TESDA, the UK- funded ILO Skills for Prosperity Programme, and the JP Morgan- funded Women in STEM Programme have collaborated. Together, we want to contribute to the Philippine skills development by making TVET training more flexible and accessible and by building the trainers’ capacity in learner-centred STEM approaches.

This training is part of our continuing commitment to TESDA to support its STEM in TVET policy. It is consistent with TESDA’s direction to adopt innovative and flexible learning, making it resilient against educational disruptions and responding to digital economy challenges.

Learners understand the relevance of “school learning” to real work through learner-centred approaches, which shapes occupational aspirations and employment transitions. It is essential because typhoons, pandemic restrictions, and rural power outages can disrupt in-person classes.

Today, 35 TVET trainers of nine STEM-related qualifications are graduating. These qualifications are within priority sectors of the ILO Programmes on Skills for Prosperity and Women in STEM.

Congratulations to our trainers who completed online and off-line sessions, industry panel discussions and coaching hours with our team from the Center for Integrated STEM (CISTEM).

I am excited to hear how trainers and learners benefit from learner-centred STEM in TVET approaches. Together with our development partners, TESDA, the private sector, trainers and learners, we must nurture these seeds of change.

The Decent Work Country Programme highlights the importance of responsive technical and vocational training programmes to prepare learners for the rapidly changing future of work.

We are grateful to TESDA’s support to enhance delivery of technical-vocational education and training in the country. We work closely with you and our tripartite partners – government, workers, and employers –on the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS), anchored on the ILO’s pillars of action.

A human-centered approach is vital to ensure an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19 based on the ILO’s Global Call to Action. By working together, we can help each other and build a better future of work that leaves no one behind.

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!