May 25, 2017

A total of  351 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Middle East were recipient of free assessment and certification service under the Onsite Assessment Program (OAP) of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).  
 The Middle East consists of the countries located east of the Mediterranean Sea and west of India. They are Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan.
 In that region, 269 successful OFWs received National Certificates/Certificates of Competency (NC/COC) after they passed the assessment held in Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait.  
 Some of the qualifications offered for assessment were Computer Systems Servicing NC II; Technical Drafting NC II; Visual Graphic Design NC III; Events Management NC III; Food and Beverage Services NC II; Caregiving NC II and Massage Therapy NC II.
 The Onsite Assessment Program (OAP) of TESDA kicked off simultaneously in Riyadh and Dubai last April 28, 2017.   From April 28, 2017 to May 13, 2017, simultaneous assessment activities were held in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. 
Records showed that 76 OFWs from Riyadh and Al Khobar took part in the OAP while 70 successful candidates were awarded  NC/COC, giving 92.11 percent certification rate.
 In Jeddah, 112 out of 130 passed the assessment (86.91 percent certification rate); 27 out of 39 from Abu Dhabi passed (69.23 percent certification rate),   43 out of 72 also passed (59.72 percent) from Dubai and 17 out of 34 passed (50 percent certification rate) from Kuwait,  with an overall certification rate of 76.92 percent. 
The conduct of OA in the Middle East was one of the notable recommendations/action points based from the result of the meeting with various groups, e.g., Filipino Communities by the  TESDA Officials during the various missions done in 2016.
Apart from the   conduct of competency assessment   for OFWs in the Middle East, representatives from TESDA met officials of various FilComs and conducted inspection of the facilities of prospective training centers and assessment centers.   
Other significant  results  of the OAP were  the accreditation of ICSA, Kuwait Branch as   Accredited Assessment Centers in Visual Graphic Design NC III,  Technical Drafting NC II and  Computer Systems Servicing NC II, and the identification of forty (40) prospective onsite competency assessors who will undergo further training in preparation for accreditation in order  to provide continuity of service to the OFWs.  
TESDA Director General, Secretary Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong said that the OAP should be institutionalized by TESDA thru accrediting (registering) Philippine Schools and other training centers catering to OFWs.   
 “The program seeks to support the goal of bringing the Filipino overseas workers out of low skilled, low paying and oppressive service work, and assist them to land in higher skilled, better paying and decent work” said Mamondiong. 

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