By Paolo Romero and Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - Following a recommendation by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Valenzuela City government ordered the closure of a technical training school for operating without a license and offering programs that are not registered with TESDA, officials said yesterday.
TESDA director-general Joel Villanueva said a “stop order” was issued on Dec. 1 by the city government against Electron Technical Training Center (ETTC).
Villanueva said the order took effect last Friday and will be in effect until the school has secured the proper authority to operate and offer courses that are accredited by TESDA.
“We did a series of background checks and found out that the school was offering programs that are not registered with TESDA. And worse, the school itself is not registered,” he said. “This prompted us to recommend to the Valenzuela City government to halt the training center’s operation.”
Villanueva said the school had been properly notified and warned about its violations but school officials did nothing to correct them.
The ETTC is offering at least 14 programs that are not registered with TESDA: electronics technician, cell phone technician, computer technician, computer science, computer secretarial, gas/diesel mechanics, practical electricity, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics, driving with troubleshooting, motorcycle mechanics, reflexology and acupressure, cosmetology, photoshop, and welding.
Villanueva said this is in violation of TESDA Circular 45 pertaining to the omnibus guidelines on program registration under the unified technical, vocational education and training program registration and accreditation system.
“The cancellation of the mayor’s permit is necessary to discourage the ETTC officials from continuously offering unregistered courses with TESDA and to protect the enrolling public from such unlawful practice,” said Elpidio Mamaril Jr., district director of TESDA-Camanava, in his letter to Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.
Mamaril also asked the ETTC to refund in full the fees paid by students currently enrolled in the unregistered courses.
Villanueva said TESDA will offer assistance to the students affected by the order by transferring them to training centers offering the same courses registered with TESDA.
As for ETTC graduates who took the unregistered courses, he said TESDA will assist them in undergoing a reassessment to determine if they can be issued a valid certification from the agency.
“We know that the students here are victims, too, that’s why we will extend them the help they need to get a legitimate certification or to find an accredited training school,” he said.