By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Amid concerns on the job-readiness of Senior High School (SHS) completers to graduate this school year, Education Secretary Leonor Briones yesterday expressed confidence that a “significant number” of them will be able to get employment after completing the K to 12 program.
Briones said that this year’s SHS graduates – particularly those who completed the Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) track – have high chance to get jobs as the country welcomes the first batch of graduates of the K to 12 Basic Education program this school year. “We have very high hopes that a significant number of our tech-voc graduates will be taken in,” she said.
DepEd data showed that around 1.2-million SHS students are expected to graduate for School Year (SY) 2017-2018. Of 1, 252, 357 anticipated first batch of completers, 61.13 percent or 765,588 SHS enrollees took the Academic Track; 38. 32 percent or 479,866 students enrollees took the TVL track; 0. 38 percent or 4,758 SHS enrollees took the Arts and Design track and 0.17 percent or 2, 145 SHS enrollees took the Sports track. Briones said DepEd is “very excited” to welcome the first batch of SHS graduates.
Despite the concerns that the SHS graduates are not “job ready” – as pointed out by various groups – Briones reiterated that the SHS curriculum was designed “to make them ready not only for employment but for life.”
“We hope that the fears that our graduates will not get jobs will be laid to rest,” Briones said. She also noted that many companies have expressed support to the SHS program and are willing to take in this year’s graduates.
Briones said “there is a demand for SHS graduates in the fields of infrastructure, food industry, agriculture and tourism,” among others.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo – citing a tracer study conducted in the previous years – said at least “90 percent of those who graduated from SHS model schools in the years 2013 to 2015 were able to get employment” and the remaining “10 percent pursued higher education.”