Olongapo City Skills Training Center

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meet Analyn, 19: She’s a metal welder

By Tessa Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- After graduating from high school, Analyn Jumadiao knew there was no way she could afford to go to college. The second of four children of a farmer in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar, Analyn was determined to further her education so she could help improve the economic situation of her family.

Enter Plan International, a humanitarian child-centered organization that operates in 66 countries worldwide, with an offer to send her to a vocational course in welding.

By May 2007, Analyn had completed a six-month course in gas metal and shielded metal arc welding at the state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Catarman, Northern Samar. She also finished three months of on-the-job-training in Cebu where she now hopes to work as a welder.

Analyn, 19, was invited by Plan International to talk about her experience during the launch last Thursday of an automotive mechanic training center and scholarship project in Tacloban, Leyte, to be undertaken jointly by Isuzu Motors, Plan Intl. and Tesda.

As a former scholar, it is thought that Analyn can convince other young people to go into vocational training.

“They say that welding is a man’s job. But when times are hard, there is no such thing as a job only for men or women. What men can do, women can do too,” Analyn said in Filipino.

“This is a good opportunity for the youth, particularly women like me, to show our skills in this field and to help uplift the quality of our lives,” she said.

Analyn said she intends to convince her male and female friends in Lope de Vega, a fifth-class municipality of 13,000, about six hours from Tacloban City, to apply for a scholarship to the center.

She said teenagers in her town as young as 13 opt to marry instead of pursuing their studies.

The town’s mayor Erlinda Palloc-Cinco, who was at the launch, explained that young people in her town marry at a young age because there are no opportunities to study and work.

Isuzu Phils. president Keiji Takeda said that “while it is true that business in the Philippines has been good for Isuzu, we also can’t overlook the fact that almost 40 percent of the Philippine population live in poverty and about half of the unemployed belong to the 16 to 24 age bracket.”

Isuzu is pouring in $3 million to establish the training center. Every year for the next five years, 80 scholarships will be given for a two-year auto-mechanic course, completion of which will earn the scholars a National Certification IV.

The scholars, both boys and girls, will be chosen from the communities across the country assisted by Plan International.

Lydia M. Domingo, Plan’s gender advisor, said the group operates in the most depressed areas like Samar, Southern Leyte, Camotes Island in Cebu, Masbate and Mindoro Occidental.

Michael Diamond, the Plan Philippines country director, said the scholars will be chosen from the poorest and most marginalized communities, and will be asked to commit themselves to finishing the training course and taking jobs in the automobile industry.

Isuzu will cover living and educational fees, the construction of a dormitory, guidance for curriculum development and training facilities and equipment.

The company’s general manager for human resources and general affairs, Tomoki Umeda, said more support will be extended even beyond 2012.

Tesda-Region 8 will be the main resource organization for the technical training and will be supplying the instructors and lectures.

The project follows Tesda’s National Certification system as the legally mandated and recognized accreditation and certification in the Philippines. This certification system indicates a set of requirements that students should accomplish to be considered certified mechanics.

New equipment and tools will be installed to facilitate training from National Certification I to IV.

Dormitories for female and male students will be constructed to accommodate those coming from the provinces.

Aside from financial assistance, Isuzu will provide expertise developed through its automobile manufacturing business, including assessing technical competence of the proposed curriculum, improving the course design and periodic assessment, and evaluation of the competence and appropriateness of delivery of the course programs.

Also nontechnical training

Tesda will also provide the nontechnical aspects of training like values formation, basic literacy and personality development.

Plan International and Tesda will conduct a customer satisfaction survey one year after the hiring of the project trainees. The results of this evaluation will be used in formulating annual operational plans and new policies for the improvement of the training center.

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