K - 12 Plus News

Out-of-school kids bolstered by education reforms, CCTs

Basic education coverage in the Philippines improved in the last 5 years, children are now in schools at higher rates and at younger ages. The improvements are mostly in elementary schools; however there are only limited gains among high schoolers.

Clarissa David and Jose Ramon Albert

Published 8:00 AM, May 30, 2015
Updated 1:13 AM, May 31, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – The government committed, through the Millennium Development Goals, that all children between 5 and 15 years old must be in school. Yet in 2008 nearly 3 million children were not, representing 13% of the school-aged population.

More recent data from the Annual Poverty Indicator Surveys (APIS) of 2010 to 2013, conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), show a turnaround: large gains in school enrollment.

Between 2008-2013 the country reduced the rate of out-of-school children from 13% to 4.43% – a 65% reduction in out-of-school rate.
By 2013 the estimated number of school-aged children not in school was just over a million, from the nearly 3 million in 2008.
Among 5-year-olds, the proportion not in school was 16.6% in 2011; by 2013 it had been halved to 8.5%.
Full implementation of the Kindergarten Law was responsible for gains among 5-year-olds. The law made formal schooling at 5 years old mandatory, free, and the responsibility of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The rollout of K-12 also helped bring more children to school, particularly in the primary school ages of 6-11. Among those in this age group the out-of-school rate declined from 6.6% in 2011 to 3.6% in 2013.

The government has been expanding the DepEd’s budget to support the law’s implementation. Its 2015 budget of P361 billion represented an increase of 18% from 2014; however even with expansion, as a proportion of the national budget it remains about the same, and lower than the budgetary commitments our neighboring countries devote to education.

(Almost) perfect attendance in Kindergarten

Expanding the responsibility of DepEd has had an equalizing effect on access to education because it offers more years of free education, specifically at the Kindergarten level. Chart 1 shows the school attendance rates of 5-year-olds by educational level of the household head for 2008 and 2013, only for the poorest 20% of the country.

In 2008, Kindergarten was offered only in some public schools and was not required for entry into Grade 1. Among the poorest families with 5-year-olds, 47.2% were able to send their children to Kindergarten. Within those families, when the head of the household did not finish elementary school, the child is less likely to be in school. But when the head has more than a high school degree the child is more likely to be in school. These show large inequalities in access to Kindergarten.


Upon implementation of free and mandatory Kindergarten, 92.2% of 5-year-olds of the poorest families attended Kindergarten. The data show that regardless of educational level of the head of the household, nearly all children of Kinder age in the poorest homes are now going to school.

Passing average: Modest gains for high school-aged children


Mindanao to enhance job training programs

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Initiatives to prepare technical and vocational students for a real work environment will be enhanced in Mindanao through partnerships that will be forged between businesses and schools under the government’s Dual Training System (DTS).
The DTS, to be implemented by the TESDA, will soon be adopted by accredited technical-vocational schools in cooperation with participating agricultural, industrial, and commercial establishments within the regions of Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Kotie R. Bax, Northern Mindanao operations head of the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) said.

Representatives of 40 chambers of commerce and 150 vocational colleges from the six regions of Mindanao will meet in this city on May 26 to ink their commitment to the implementation of the more than two-decade old Republic Act 7686, the Dual Training System Act of 1994.

Philippine input to the World Education Forum 2015

Here is the Philippine Position on the Working Document of the World Education Forum 2015:  You may click on this link for the full document: http://kto12plusphilippines.com/2015/05/17/philippine-input-to-the-world-education-forum-2015/ See No. 6: In enhancing technical and vocational education and training, we believe that the establishment of a global/regional standard of accreditation of TVET would raise the level of competency to keep pace with the changing labor and market demands. It will also promote and strengthen skills development as well as the quality of technical education.

GPCCI Advocates for k-12

Foreign and local business groups advocated for the K to 12 Program during a roundtable discussion with the media on April 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Makati.

In a statement given during the forum, GPCCI Board Director and Dual Training Committee Chairman Tristan ‘Bobbit’ Loveres declared the Chamber's strong support for the K to 12 Law. He pointed out that in order to sustain the economic growth of the Philippines, it is imperative that the K-12 Education Reform is being implemented. The competitiveness of the Philippines relies on the pool of a competent, capable and skilled workforce, especially at this critical times of the ASEAN Economic Integration.

Loveres stated that, "we are all aware of the challenges in the education system in the Philippines." As studies show, the core challenges of the Philippine industries are the lack of practical-oriented technical and vocational training.

GPCCI believes that it is important to invest in further education and training to ensure that the younger generation is capable and ready to support what is needed.

GPCCI is very active in supporting the preparation for this law thru the K to 12 Plus Proect, under the Dual Training component. Germany, as an economic power-house not only in Europe but in the whole world, is economically driven not only by well-known German companies. The secret is the strength of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), powered by the skilled workforce fully-supported by the Dual Training system. This is what GPCCI and the K to 12 Plus Project want to replicate and institutionalize in the Philippines.

CCI supports Philippine vocational training project


“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Supports Philippine Vocational Training Project”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Koblenz welcomed a Philippine delegation in Koblenz. Alberto P. Fenix Jr., honorary president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) as well as Ole Frahm-Rheindell, who is overseeing the vocational training project in the archipelagic state were guests. At the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Koblenz, the guests were briefed on the structure of dualized vocational training. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abroad (AHK) in the Philippines is working together with the representatives of the local agencies on a vocational training proposal according to the German model. The IHK Koblenz offers this support in cooperation with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) in Berlin. With only the current school education system in the country of origin of the guests, it is becoming more and more difficult to match the demands of companies to the qualifications of the employees, was their message. “One that orients him/herself in a dualized education system, supplemental, practice-oriented vocational training should be able to make medium-term remedies. At the same time, this should counteract the high youth unemployment rate" says Bernhard Meiser, managing director on education and advanced training at the IHK Koblenz. "Especially the internationally operating enterprises that are looking for qualified professionals who are not only trained academically, but also bring practical experience with them for their branch offices in the Philippines." These companies include, for example, Continental, Lufthansa, Volkswagen or - in the hotel and restaurant industry - Marriot and lemongrass. The vocational training project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and supported by the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The IHK Koblenz already supports in a similar way, the AHK in Slovakia in the implementation of a dual characterized vocational education system. At Volkswagen Slovakia, trainers and assessors in the field of "mechatronics" could already in 2014 following the German model, be trained and complete the first mid-term examinations. In June this year, the first final exam will take place at Volkswagen Slovakia. 
(Left to right): Anja Witt, International Education Advisor at IHK Koblenz, Dr. Alberto P. Fenix JR, Ole Frahm-Rheindell, Bernhard Meiser, managing director on education and advanced training at the IHK Koblenz. Photo: organizer