Silliman University (SU) coordinated with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to form the School of Agro-Industrial and Technical Education (SAITE) in preparation for the drastic decrease in enrolment in 2016.
Dr. Pablito Dela Rama, SAITE dean, said that since there will be no first year college students in 2016 due to the K-12 program, “the president has thought of this school to be established so that this can help a movement for the continuous flow of income of the university.”
SAITE offers certificate programs in the different academic units of the university. One of these programs has already started last March.
As of now, there are two on-going programs in the university that were approved by TESDA, namely, Animal Production and Crop Production (Horticulture).
Dela Rama said that they coordinated with the College of Agriculture (COA) for these programs since the COA has the suitable location where students will be able to work.
Twenty-one students, who are enrolled in the Animal Production course, will be ending the program this August.
“The total duration of the course is four to five months, with a tuition fee of Php10,500,” De la Rama said.
For Horticulture, 30 students are enrolled in the program which will last for six months. One of the 30 enrollees is the dean of the College of Education, Dr. Earl Jude Paul Cleope.
Dela Rama said that these programs are open to anyone but TESDA has an age limit for scholarship applicants.
Interested applicants should not exceed the age of 55.
“So if you are still 54, you can still apply as long as you will not turn 55 until the program ends,” Dela Rama said.
Other than agriculture-related courses, SU has also applied for 40 other programs but is still waiting for the approval of TESDA.
According to Dela Rama, creating programs such as these would not only ensure safety from the K-12 impact in 2016, but would also make SU a center of training and assessment.
Dela Rama said that it will be a center for training because these are certificate programs offered by TESDA, and a center for assessment because TESDA is the only agency that grants the National Certificate (NC).
“If you have expertise in a certain field and if you are willing to teach in one of the programs, you will not be allowed to teach unless you have an NC. Only TESDA can grant that,” Dela Rama said.
Dela Rama added that programs such as these will surely help SU overcome challenges by 2016 when no freshmen college students will enroll for two years.
“For me, we have made the right preparations,” Dela Rama said.
By Ina Isabelle Taburaza