Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This enduring proverb applies to private vocational school Dualtech, which provides unique, technical education and skills to less privileged youth and give them a chance to rise from poverty and contribute to nation-building.
Established in 1982, Dualtech “develops young people through a dual training system to become quality-trained, skilled, productive, enlightened and morally upright persons fulfilling the needs of the industry and the community,” says its website. The institution has over 100 manufacturing and service companies and more than 300 high schools as partners.
In an e-mail interview with Daily Tribune, Dualtech executive director Jerry Muhi explained the work of the institution and how it is dealing with the pandemic.
Daily Tribune (DT): Can you walk us through the ins and outs of Dualtech?
Jerry Muhi (JM): Dualtech embraces a dual training system as its education modality. The Dual Training System (DTS) is one of the more preferred training modalities for
enterprise-based training in the Philippines.
The DTS, as its name suggests, combines theoretical and practical training. It is called dual training because learning takes place alternately in two venues: the school or training center and the company or workshop.
DT: How did the institution adjust its curriculum since the course requires hands-on training?
JM: Dualtech adopts the Flexible Learning Arrangement of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) that employs a blended learning approach — a combination of online and limited face-to-face classes in accordance with IATF (Inter Agency Task Force) and LGU (local government unit) Covid-19 protocols. Several learning platforms and efforts were made like developing learning apps in electrical and electronic trades, utilizing the free messaging app for communication, providing portable training kits to nearby communities, and more.
Dualtech follows synchronous and asynchronous types of learning. Trainor and student agree on a schedule when the student has access to e-learning modules and assessments. In some provinces, we have volunteers and partners who would allow our students to use their place as a learning hub.
DT: How did the Covid-19 pandemic change the work of its employees?
JM: We rely heavily on Internet connectivity and various online meeting platforms like Zoom, Google classroom, teams, Webex and the like.
Since our training program includes one-on-one mentoring with our students, mentors had to shift talking with students through Facebook Messenger and other similar applications. As for technical training, we have to produce videos to simulate some machine operations, workpiece transformations and circuitry preparations together with their actual applications.
With the help of donations, Dualtech continues to reach out to the youth who have little to no material resources to pursue education but are full of potential, dreams, and drive despite the pandemic.
“Early in 2021, donations started coming in but not enough to provide for our target of 1,000 new students. A priest friend, Fr. Willy Ong, forwarded to me a message sometime in April that a certain Bobby Joseph from Rotary Club of Manila is willing to sponsor students of Dualtech,” he recounted.
After meeting them, Muhi realized that they share and understand the same goal. He added, “By helping Dualtech accommodate more students, we are also supporting their families and communities thus creating a bigger wave of coverage to alleviate poverty.”