THE United States government’s concern for the country’s out-of-school youths (OSYs) and unemployed youngsters is, without doubt, most encouraging, according to various quarters.
It showed this concern when the United States Agency for International Development launched a new project that supports the education, employment and livelihood needs of OSYs.
The five-year, P1.9-billion project, called “Opportunity 2.0: Second-Chance Opportunities for Out-Of-School Youth,” is seen to benefit an estimated 180,000 OSYs throughout the country.
USAID’s partners are the Department of Education (DepEd) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), headed by Secretary Leonor Briones and Director-General Isidro S. Lapena, respectively.
Other partners are 2,200 employers and at least 50 training institutions in major hubs, like Metropolitan Manila, Metro Cebu and Davao. USAID will assist local governments in setting up youth development alliances that mobilize resources to help their OSYs.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said the project will augment DepEd and TESDA’s ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience to the youth.
These programs include the DepEd’s enhanced Alternative Learning System and TESDA’s skills training schemes.
“Through this new partnership, we can leverage a range of resources to maximize the potential of the Filipino youth, particularly those who are out-of-school or unemployed,” said Ambassador Kim.
Kim said the project shows his government’s continuing support for Philippine education, especially for the vulnerable OSYs, who are facing significant challenges during the COVID pandemic.
Thus, DepEd and TESDA’s partnering with USAID in training Filipino youngsters is a move in the right direction.