K - 12 Plus News

TESDA, PCCI are raising the bar for skilled workers

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) are raising the bar and the employment potential of skilled workers.

"The PCCI is united with TESDA in its objective to create a pool of qualified, competent, and job-ready workforce to contribute to the productivity and sustainability of enterprises and to the employment generation and poverty reduction goals of the government," TESDA Director-General Guiling Mamondiong said in a press conference in Taguig City.

Part of the goal is to address the problem of unemployment in the country.

A three-year memorandum of agreement was signed on Tuesday, covering the PCCI-TESDA Tech Voc Project to promote technical vocational skills training.

"We are committing to produce more world-class workers and for them [PCCI] to match this with jobs and business opportunities," Mamondiong noted.

The agreement also calls for promoting and facilitating the Dual Training System (DTS) and help industries, enterprises, business chambers and trade associations promote and implement Technical-Vocational Education and Training programs

The DTS is an enterprise-based skills development approach with which participants learn alternately while working and in schools or training centers.

"We are making sure that business associations have the capacity to conduct trainings," PCCI-Human Resource Development Foundation Inc. President Alberto Fenix Jr. said in the same press conference.

Big business groups collaborate to address job-skills mismatch

MANILA, Philippines – Big business groups are collaborating to find ways to address the problem of job-skills mismatch in the country which they said have long hampered the growth of various industries.

The Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – the  three largest and most influential business organizations in the country – are embarking on several initiatives together with the government that will solve the country’s job-skills mismatch concern.

“We, together with other business groups like PCCI and MAP, are working with the government to ensure the matching of skills with the requirement of industry because what we need is to make sure that the needs of the industry in the next five to 10 years is met and that our education system and our population would match,” MBC chairman Ed Chua told The STAR.

In a joint study published last year by the International Labor Organization and Employers Confederation of the Philippines, job-skills mismatch was identified as a significant factor hampering the country’s manufacturing potential and constraining its economic growth.

The mismatch is also said to be a contributing factor to the high unemployment rate in the Philippines.

PCCI president George Barcelon had asked the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to come up with a long-term master plan to identify emerging industries in the country so that the education sector could prepare a qualified workforce.

Despite Opposition, K-12 Education Reform Moves Forward in the Philippines

By Henry Bernabe Grageda

By August, 1.5 million students across the Philippines attended 11th grade for the first time, thanks to the newly established senior high school (SHS), a cornerstone of the country’s long-running K-12 education reform efforts. The education reform debate leading up to this moment had been centered on whether or not to defer implementation of the K-12 program, which is in motion despite delays in school construction and hiring of additional teachers for thousands of public schools.

The new K-12 law adds two years of senior high school, 11th and 12th grade, to the country’s basic education system. Before the policy went into effect, the Philippines was the last country in Asia and one of only a handful worldwide with a 10-year basic education system.

Despite predictions that the new reforms would fail to deliver and spur massive drop-outs, almost 50,000 more students enrolled in the new grade 11 than the number of students who had completed 10th grade of the previous academic year.

The new senior high school, a component of the Enhanced Basic Education Act (a.k.a., K-12 Law) signed in 2013, aims to address low performance and enrollment rates and to help achieve international standards by adding two grades to high school and by making secondary education compulsory. SHS also provides the opportunity for senior high school students to specialize in one of four tracks: academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports, or the arts.

'Nurture the seeds we planted'

By Br. Armin Luistro|

Dear teachers and parents, administrators and staff, education partners and stakeholders:

Not too long ago—six years to be exact—I remember making those first cautious steps as I entered the hallowed halls of our Bulwagan ng Karunungan here at the DepED Central Office in Pasig where I received the department’s colors from my predecessor. At noontime today, I will return home to my community of De La Salle Brothers to be assigned to yet to another ministry still in education after a year of sabbatical.

At the start of my term, I was so stricken by the quixotic ideal to serve and change the system. At times I would be driven with a messianic complex and seek to be the savior of 47,000+ schools. I can’t help but take things personally when I would read about the travails of a student who would have to walk miles daily or the predicaments of a debt-ridden teacher on whom an extended family depends. Faced with the biggest bureaucracy in the Philippine government, it dawned on me after a while that I would end up disheartened if I even tried to singlehandedly overhaul the educational system just so I can leave my imprint in the department. (READ: DepEd's Luistro: A profile)

At one stage I thought it was about quick fixes like replacing broken glass on battered windows or painting over vandalized walls. At another time I thought about substantial changes such as addressing the backlog of 66,800 classrooms or even providing every learner with books they can actually bring home. But I also thought about radical changes such as the K to 12 reform which requires a complete restructuring of the educational system that we have gotten used to for nearly a century.

Unforgettable

I am glad that I made the conscious decision to make unannounced visits to hundreds of schools especially those which are farthest from the center. It may be a serendipitous move and yet it left the most profound change in me. I realized it was not about the change that I can make in the world. Those whom I was privileged to meet in those unannounced visits have become my mentors. As a disciple at the foot of his master, I learned from you that it was not only about fixing broken windows or cleaning up ala Brigada Eskwela style. You taught me that it is about caring for every student in class as though he or she were my own child, and as though he or she is the only one in the world.

I cannot forget Principal Fe who was among the first to welcome students when school reopened after Typhoon Sendong. While nursing an injured leg, she was dutifully making the rounds of the campus checking on her students and inquiring on those who have not yet reported that day. When I asked why she has not sought medical attention, her reply stunned me: “But Brother, let me first account for every student and teacher under my care. When I am sure they are all safe, I can start worrying about my leg.”

I cannot forget Teacher Lorna, a newly-hired Muslim teacher who used her body as human shield to safeguard her primary school students against a deranged man who ran amok in her school that day. She was the sole earner in her family but she never hesitated to offer her life so that her students may live. She died from multiple stab wounds on her back but her students survived.

DepEd: Classes start June 13

MANILA, Philippines – Classes in public schools nationwide will open on June 13, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced yesterday.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro confirmed the schedule of the opening of classes, which will cover students in public elementary, junior and senior high school. 

The DepEd has yet to release a memorandum detailing the school calendar for the incoming academic year. But previous issuances allow private schools to deviate from the calendar prescribed for public schools.

Under Republic Act 7797 that sets the length of the school calendar, private schools may not start classes earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August. 

Preparations for the incoming school year are ongoing, primarily due to the scheduled implementation of the K-12 program. 

The K-12, the flagship education reform program of the Aquino administration, will add two years to basic education in the country, with graduates of Grade 10 (former fourth year high school) proceeding first to senior high school before being allowed to enroll in higher education or college programs.  

The government has allocated billions for to build new classrooms, buy equipment and create new teaching positions for the senior high school program.