TESDA to train PH team for 2016 Abilympics

August 4, 2015 5:38 am 

MANILA, Aug 3 — Disability did not prove to be a hindrance to some individuals from engaging in different crafts and skills.

Taking this to greater heights, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will train them to be the cream of the crop and battle-ready for the 9th International Abilympics in France next year.

Signing a memorandum of agreement with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) on August 3, TESDA vowed to train the competitors and assess them in preparation for the international competition.

"TESDA is committed to respect, protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities, and we will do this by means of what we do best — skills training," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

"The abilympics is a good venue to display the vocational skills of persons with disabilities, which could translate to opportunities for employment and livelihood for them," he added.

Abilympics, coined from olympics of abilities of persons with disabilities (PWDs), is a global work skills competition held every four years in various host countries. It aims to promote social awareness in the field of skills development and employment both locally and internationally, and foster friendship among the competing nations.

Under the agreement, TESDA will administer the competency assessment among the competitors for the international competition. Villanueva said that intensive training was expected, which would include mock competitions.

The agency will provide four coaches for the contestants, who were chosen as winners from regional and national skills competitions. It will also make available the needed supplies and materials to be used during the training.

The International Abilympics is slated in March 2016 in Bordeauz, France.

For the 9th International Abilympics, the Philippine team will compete in the following areas: Cake Decoration, Photography, Floral Arrangement, Painting, Waste Reuse, Cooking, Word Processing, Desktop Publishing, Creating Web Pages, Restaurant Service, Pottery, Poster Design and Basket Weaving.

"To prepare the competitors well for this competition, we will tap companies, industry associations and non-government organizations to give them intensive training right in the shop floors and workplaces," Villaniueva said.

"We are therefore inviting sponsors to support us in this endeavor," he added.

NCDA is the lead agency in convening an inter-agency committee composed of government agencies, non-government organizations and disabled people’s organizations to develop plans and mobilize resources and support for the delegates to the International Abilympics.

The Philippines took part in the competition held in Seoul, South Korea in 2011. Prior to this, it also fielded PWD contestants to compete in various fields that were held in Hongkong in 1991; Perth, Australia in 1995; Prague, Czech Republic in 2000; New Delhi, India in 2003; and in Shizuoko, Japan in 2007 in previous international Abilympics competitions, according to NCDA.

The participation of Filipinos with disabilities in these international skills competitions have brought prestige and honor to the country especially when the Philippine team ranked eight and sixth in the 2000 and 2003 International Abilympics, respectively, the NCDA said. (PNA)

CTB/TESDA-PR/EDS

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