Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Philippines

Center for Asian Culinary Studies, CACS – Manila

Manila, Philippines
Center for Asian Culinary Studies, CACS – Manila is a gastronomy school well known for its graduates in culinary arts during the past years.

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About Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Philippines

Career and vocational training is a very important component of the educational system of the Philippines.  This is perhaps best reflected by the large number of schools, both at the secondary and post-secondary level, dedicated solely to this purpose.  Below we will take a closer look at this Philippine system of vocational training, first by discussing its history and administration, followed by a brief description of how the program is carried out at both the secondary and post-secondary level.

Vocational Education and Training in the Philippines:  Administration and History

The lion-share of the vocational and technical education in the Philippines is under the supervision of the Philippines Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), or in the Filipino language, “Pangasiwaan sa Edukasyong Teknikal at Pagpapaunlad ng Kasanayan.”  This is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Labor and Employment, and its primary responsibility is to provide students and adults with the technical skills and/or job training they need to succeed in a variety of occupations.

TESDA was formed in 1994 as the result of the “Technical Education and Skills Development Act.”  This act was a direct response to the large percentage of unskilled workers in the country, and its aim, which is now showing some remarkable results, was to provide the human resources in the Philippines with a productive alternative to a university education—a method for developing a skilled workforce by providing students with training and education in a number of career fields where a university degree is unnecessary.

Vocational Secondary Schools

For some, vocational education and training in the Philippines begins as early as high school.  Students who lack either the interest or aptitude to attend the traditional Philippine high school—schools that offer a predominantly university-preparatory track—can elect instead to focus their studies on career preparation at one of the many state-run vocational high schools.  As a member of these schools, students still receive a basic and broad education in most core academic subjects, but the remainder of their instruction is geared towards career preparation in a specific vocational field.  Students have five main career-instruction fields to choose from when attending vocational high school in the Philippines (careers very crucial in the Philippine economy), including agriculture, fishery, trade-technical, home industry and non-traditional studies, the latter being broad instruction in a number of different specializations.

Post-Secondary Vocational Education

Filipino students wanting to expand on the career education they received in secondary school, or even adults choosing to return to school in order to train for a new career, can enroll in one of the many Philippine “colleges.”  Unlike in the U.S. and many other countries, colleges in the Philippines are not the same as universities—not 4-year academic institutions.  Here colleges offer specific career training, usually in the form of 2-year certificate programs, in fields such as automotive technology and repair, nursing assistance, computer technology, welding, and the operation of heavy equipment.  These career colleges can be either public—funded and managed by the state—or private (the majority of schools are private), in which students pay tuition towards their training.

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