OPINION | TESDA's Performance Matrix

by F. M. Bustamante

I'm not sure what specific courses a TESDA school offers but the new requirement tying scholarship grants to employment numbers does not make too much sense. Schools do not have any control on the job market. Sure they can fashion their curriculum to match the available jobs in their area but even that doesn't guarantee employment. What it does, however, is take focus away from offering a diverse set of skills that open up a wider potential for graduates, and from entrepreneurial training that could help graduates start their own business.

This new regulation seem to forget that economic opportunity is not the same for all TESDA locations. Jobs that are available in the city may not be there in the small towns or rural areas. A remote village may have zero potential for local employment-- and yet there could be a TESDA there. What would be the goal of that TESDA school then? How would you measure performance? You could measure results by the number of graduates that successfully completed the program and the practical application of the skills they learned to their community. Modern farming methods, for example, would be a strong coursework that can be applied in a rural setting. Small livelihood programs such as handicraft production would be another. And yet another is leadership training to help mold effective and knowledgeable leaders to represent the interest of the constituents in the community.

The one common performance indicator for TESDA schools is the number of graduates -- that should be the performance matrix. Beyond that, the local and national government are responsible for creating the economic stimulus that would create jobs for their people , including those who graduated from TESDA. Graduates do not create jobs, economic stimulus and economic infrastructure do. If the economy is vibrant and the infrastructure is stable, TESDA graduates shouldn't have a hard time getting employed. I believe a more meaningful measure of TESDA's effectiveness, in addition to the percentage of graduates successfully completing the program, is its long-term impact on the quality of life of the graduate and the community as a whole.