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SKIA launches Technical-Trade-skills career pathway for former combatants

December 15, 2020, Cotabato City – SKIA College has partnered with TESDA-BARMM to attract college-bound learners from low-income families over the past decade. But today its unique characteristic makes it a “magnet school” for children of ex-combatants who want to gain job-preparedness to kick-off their career in trade-skills pathway.

Introduction to construction technology (structural and nonstructural) is a foundation for productive work. According to one Trainer Master Instructor (TMI) Mokamad S. Kanapia, this apprenticeship-type of building technology is designed “to carry out theoretical and practical tasks” utilized in the construction of a single story wood frame residential structure.  

The learners have undergone 216-hour hands-on experience and apply basic skills in carpentry trades for 27 days (November 9 to December 8, 2020). The Industrial Arts strand includes 3 days of Values Transformation Training (VTT) which Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) sponsored to achieve “entrepreneurial alertness” as well as efficacy for consumer education.

This kick-off aid comes as Training for Work  Scholarship Program (TWSP) funding that SKIA received from TESDA in the final cycle of 2020 have been disbursed to eligible participants. A fresh batch of 20 young people who earned successful completion of the Carpentry (NC II) building trade skills under BARMM scholar grants were targeted to increase their entry-level employability.

A second wave funding was made available to non-combatant women being part of the “current community of learners” at the Islamic Academy. Vulnerable families need more support services in the form of BARMM emergency relief grant to cover unexpected needs in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

“This technical pathway yielded 25 additional awards working towards competency in Food Processing (NC II) strand,” said Bai Maha R. Mansur, the focal person for SKIA partnering program with BARMM.  Technical-Livelihood Education (TLE) at SKIA helps to educate learners in consumer literacy to enrich the context of values transformation related to “good work habits” and interpersonal communication.

Qualifications aside, the initial group of 25 women met the criteria of student aid available and were then selected for 144-hour immersion in cuisine techniques and transferable skills to the workplace. Effective support for more of job-seeking applicants it attracts to the TLE 18 days (November 9-24, 2020). Trainer Master Instructors carried out further 3 days of accelerated Entrepreneurship Workshop aimed at developing skills application and trades math stack upon aligned program or “ladderized-type” certificates in various job-areas

Meanwhile, the Islamic Academy founder Michael Mastura cited the SKIA College Co-Location Campus role as a community college system making technical education accessible to small, remote BARMM communities. Asked how well Private Higher Education Institution (HEI) in BARMM is responding to Bangsamoro educational needs, the former lawmaker addressed the matter of spending instruction to help Muslim students succeed.

“A measurable reality check for BARMM educators is not just that students are poorly prepared to do college-level Math and English. Considerably, it is a major decision point — to concede offsetting tuition per-credit-cost with grant aid,” Mastura said.  Assessing the lack of faculty, less support services for students, and few learning resources or labs available in many career and technical schools, he sees “accessibility and affordability several times worrisome” in Bangsamoro villages than what such matters take in urban setting community campuses. 

” . . . partnering with Plan  International for
community engagement [broadens]
SKIA`s financial base”

Outgoing SKIA Vice President for Finance and Administration Datu Ismael V. Mastura who promotes the broadening of SKIA’s financial base achieved partnering with Plan International in 2020. “Our Islamic academy curriculum incorporates a set of immersive community engagement with an optional transfer path,” explained Datu Ismael V. Mastura.

The certificate programs at SKIA College feature the specific-skills-related computer technology (software and hardware) standard.  Additional funding for Computer Systems Servicing (CSS) coursework covers 280 hours (October 12 to November 27, 2020) trained by Mohamad Japhar L. Kasan, head of SKIA ICT and an accredited TESDA Trainer. Plan International facilitates the 35-day session with identified learning output encouraging efforts to reach out to 25 vulnerable young people in conflict-affected communities of Central Mindanao.

This launch takes a step forward directing how technological literacy would draw more STEM students to embrace “risk communication and community engagement” leading to National Certification (NC) from TESDA. No available data is current to look at quality and measure the absorptive capacity of satellite schools or sites affiliated with interior campuses. 

Moreover, SHS Principal Edris B. Mastura clarified that “such Certificate of Achievement is a credential within SKIA College on-the-job learning like in Alternative Learning System (ALS) equivalency program.” Competency for learners who want to gain qualification—taking first steps to start their career—within “ladderized-type” specialization will have transfer option to a degree program.

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