BOTOLAN, Zambales — Again taking the cudgels for quality education for all, Zambales Second District Representative Doris “Nanay Bing” Maniquiz filed House Bill No. 8242, which seeks free assessment for senior high school students taking up technical-vocational and livelihood (TVL) training.
Maniquiz said the measure would help ensure the employability of TVL graduates, especially those from poorer households.
HB 8242, or “An Act Granting Free Assessment Fee for Senior High School Students (SHS) Under the Senior High School Training-Vocational-Livelihood Track, and Other SHS Tracks Requiring Certifications, and Appropriating Funds Thereof,” was filed by the Zambales solon on Monday, May 22.
Maniquiz pointed out that Republic Act 10533 or the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013” added two years in basic education for the senior high school curriculum, under which students taking the TVL strand are required for assessment to secure Certificates of Competency (COC) or National Certifications (NC).
However, the implementing program that covered training costs, including tuition and miscellaneous expenses, did not provide for the assessment fee needed to obtain COCs and NCs, she added.
The assessment, which may include oral questioning, written test, interview, third party report, portfolio and submission of work projects, may cost the student anywhere from P555 for Sanitary Landfill Operations NC-II to as much as P6,645 for Heavy Equipment Operations (Rigid Off-Highway Dump Truck) NC-II and P9,790 for Manual Metal Arc Welding NC-IV.
“If TVL graduates cannot pay for the assessment fees, then they are deprived of the chance to get certified, and, therefore, of the chance to get employed and be productive members of the society,” Congresswoman Maniquiz added.
Under the proposed measure, all senior high school graduates under TVL and other tracks requiring national certification would get free assessment by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), with the funding required to implement the program to be determined by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Prior to this, the Zambales solon had filed House Bill No. 8159, or “An Act Granting Free Tuition for Government Employees Enrolled in Graduate Education Master’s Program at State Universities and Colleges.”
HB 8242 is another initiative “to improve government programs for quality education for all, as well as to develop human resources to boost economic growth,” Maniquiz said.