Senior high students get training on solar technology

Four senior high school students were trained on installing solar energy systems that power four off-grid schools in northern Cebu with the help of the European Union-funded Project Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth Project.

Paulo Canete, Andro Ejes, Matt Hendrick Villamor and Jephte Salve were then employed by Solar Systems Philippines Inc., the contractor for the solar energization of Moamboc and Mambacayao Elementary Schools in Bantayan, Cebu.

They completed senior high school under the electrical installation and maintenance track, which was upgraded by Project RELY to include solar technology in the curriculum.

Project RELY is a project funded by the EU to promote the use of renewable energy to improve lives and foster climate change mitigation in poor and remote communities by energizing 16 off-grid public schools in Cebu, Bohol and Palawan.

The project combines solar electrification with community development and improved vocational education by collaborating with five partner senior high schools located closest to the off-grid schools.

Aside from improving the vocational education in five partner senior high schools, Project RELY also includes community development targeting families in the off-grid schools.

“We were anxious at first because we’ve only studied the stuff in the classroom. But after we helped install the full system in Moamboc ES, we were more sure of our skills when we move on to Mambacayao,” said Villamor.

The four EIM-Solar graduates from Bantayan Senior High School are among the 12 EIM-Solar graduates that were hired by SSPI to energize 16 off-grid and remote schools in Cebu and Bohol under Project RELY.

SSPI also hired EIM-Solar graduates in Palawan during the installation of solar energy systems in six off-grid schools in Puerto Princesa City and San Vicente.

Project RELY has improved the EIM track of Bantayan Senior High School, Daanbantayan National High School, San Jose National High School in Talibon, Bohol, Palawan National School in Puerto Princesa and Roxas National Comprehensive High School in Roxas, Palawan to incorporate solar technology in the curriculum.

Through Project RELY, Bantayan Senior High School was named as an assessment venue for National Certification 2 of EIM graduates by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority while Daanbantayan National High School is being considered to be designated as such.

“We’re proud of how we have helped the senior high school students. Through Project RELY, we’ve been able to expand our pilot project in Bantayan to other partner senior high schools in Daanbantayan [Cebu], Talibon [Boho], and Puerto Princesa and Roxas [Palawan],” Vivant Foundation executive director Shem Jose Garcia said.

It is being implemented by international development group sequa, Vivant Foundation and PROCESS-Bohol for 35 months starting January 2019.

The upgrading of the EIM track will not only ensure the sustainability of the solar energization component of Project RELY but will also provide opportunities for the youth to find employment in the energy of the future, Garcia said.

EIM remains to be a skill requirement of the industry, particularly in the construction sector.

With a National Certification from TESDA, EIM graduates are recognized by local and international employers.   The National Certification is part of TESDA’s efforts to make Filipino skilled workers achieve global competitiveness and to ensure a steady supply of skilled workers equipped with innovative skills and positive work values.

“We do not just aim for well-equipped workforce but also a workforce that will help in making a difference in the lives of every Filipinos and contribute to nation building. This is the exceptional character of the Filipino skilled workforce that we can all be proud of,” TESDA director-general Isidro Lapena said.

John Ray Tapales, EIM instructor at BNHS, said the upgrading of the tech-voc track encouraged more youth to enroll.

“Before, only a few students were interested in EIM because we did not have all the tools and equipment needed to effectively teach it. But with the help of Project RELY and Vivant, we have what we need and we can also teach solar,” he said.

Tapales said EIM graduates from BNHS have the skills to work as modern electricians if they chose to work right after completing senior high school.

Read the original story here.
(Published in Manila, 21 August 2021)

Related Articles