As many schools struggle to meet the challenge of matching student education with the real skill demands of the workforce, a little-known educational institution in Calamba, Laguna has reduced guesswork and uncertainty .
The Dualtech Training Center Foundation, Inc. (DTCFI) of Carmelray Industrial Park 1, established in 1982, has adopted a system used in Germany and other European countries that allows students to learn both at school and in the workplace of their potential employers.
The dualtech system goes beyond the typical internship or on-the-job training that requires students to spend a set number of hours in a company that may not even let them do the type of work they are preparing for. . For Dualtech students, immersion in the profession and practical training are not theoretical notions.
Jerry Muhi, Executive Director, explains: “The dual education system is an educational method where students have two places of learning: school and business, a combination of theoretical and practical training.
He adds: “Since Dualtech has two places of learning, this allows students to experience real working conditions in companies and apply the fundamentals of electromechanics, a set of three professions, [while still in] school. This distinguishes Dualtech among technical-professional institutions under the aegis of Tesda (Authority for Technical Education and Skills Development).
Dualtech offers the two-year Electromechanical Technology course, a combination of electrical, mechanical and electronic trades designed to serve as the foundation for more advanced technical subjects and applications. Registration is done year round, but only men can apply.
Its training program includes 30 percent theory and 70 percent practice. Muhi says that “this unique education and intensive practical component with different industries allows students, before leaving school, to experience the interplay of electrical, mechanical and electronic trades.
But the school “also pays particular attention to the formation of the values of our students, by making them responsible, industrious and professional workers”, emphasizes Muhi.
The DTCFI was founded to meet industries’ demand for skilled workers and to help reduce unemployment and poverty in the country. He adopted the German dualtech system as it was set up with the help of the Hanns Siedel Foundation of Germany. The German model, says Muhi, aims to systematically combine the advantages of in-company training and education in school.
Like the rest of the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for Dualtech.
Muhi says their 1,600 students were stranded on campus due to the lockdown. “We spent millions of pesos to support these students with food, accommodation and other basic personal needs… we reallocated funds to support students who came from different provinces… a good number of Visayas and Mindanao . The fund we used should have been intended to help with the tuition and living expenses of incoming students for 2021. ”
Although donations started arriving in early 2021, they were not enough to meet the goal of 1,000 new students. Fortunately, Muhi was linked by a priest friend to Robert Joseph, outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Manila (RCM).
Joseph, accompanied by RCM members Thad Liamzon, Nagi Zeitouni and Anton Mauricio, offered to sponsor new students. “During our conversation, I realized how much our visitors to the MRC appreciate the Dualtech program, giving less privileged young people the chance to have a unique technical education that will allow them to realize their dreams and contribute to the nation building. … With the help of RCM, Dualtech can continue to reach out [to disadvantaged youths] to pursue studies [and fulfill their] dreams… ”said Muhi.
He points out that helping Dualtech train more young people also means supporting their families and communities “thus creating a larger wave of coverage to reduce poverty”.
Since opening four decades ago, DTCFI has graduated more than 13,000 students. Muhi says Dualtech graduates are spread across all industries here and abroad. They are entrepreneurs, employees and managers.
To enroll in Dualtech, applicants must be graduates of a high school or alternative learning systems, aged 17-21, physically fit, and single. Students pay P 30,000 for the full two years to cover the use of Dualtech facilities, training materials and equipment. Scholarships are awarded if funds are available.
Currently, Dualtech has 14 technical instructors and 12 mentors. Technical instructors must pass the Tesda Training Methodology Test. They must also have at least one year of professional experience.
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