• Tesda to probe ‘ghost scholars’

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    THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is set to investigate how the previous government distributed scholarship vouchers to determine how many so-called TESDA scholar graduated and if all of them were real students and not “ghosts.”

    Tesda Director General Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong said it was found out that only 28 million of the total 29 million tech-voc [technical and vocational]scholars since the establishment of the state skills training agency in 1994 have graduated from their respective courses, and only 10 million of the graduates have been assessed and were given NC [National Certification] 2 certification.

    The Tesda chief said the remaining 18 million unaccounted number of graduates will be a challenge to the present leadership since they could not determine if these were really enrolled in the programs and if they graduated or not.

    “Where are they [scholars]now? Did they really finish schooling and find jobs?” he asked.

    Mamondiong said he received information that these scholars could not afford the P500 assessment fee.
    He said the agency under his stint will shoulder the assessment fee of the scholars to alleviate their financial burden.

    “The audit being conducted is in line with the thrust of the Duterte administration against graft and corruption in the government. The new Tesda leadership wanted to know if the missing scholars were really warm bodies or they are just ghost scholars,” Mamondiong said.

    Tesda, he added, has allocated 62,000 slots for skills training in Metro Manila, and 30,000 each in Caraga and Cordillera regions, Visayas, and Mindanao for this year.

    “No one will be rejected. This must be given to everybody,” Mamondiong said.

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