By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Grace Poe is urging the private sector to hire graduates of the K-to-12 program and allow them to find “decent and fulfilling” jobs.
As the first batch of K-to-12 students graduate this season, Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 700 urging the Senate to call upon the private sector to hire the first batch of senior high school (SHS) graduates.
“The successful implementation of the reforms under Republic Act No 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 requires the cooperation of the private sector, as they comprise a major part of the demand-side of the job market, and can thus allow or prevent K to 12 graduates from finding decent and fulfilling employment,” Poe said in filing the resolution .
Poe filed the measure Monday amid concerns from various groups over the job readiness of SHS graduates.
Earlier,the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) raised issues with regard to the minimum number of training hours of SHS graduates, saying that the current 80-hour or two-week long minimum requirement for the on-the-job training for SHS is not enough to equip them with all the skills they need to join the work force.
The ACT Teachers party list also warned that this would worsen unemployment in the country.
The Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, had assured that K-to-12 graduates are “job-ready and equipped with values, knowledge and skills that communities, businesses and industries need.”
Poe recalled that one of the key selling points of the K-to-12 Act when it was being deliberated by Congress was that graduates of the basic education system would be immediately ready for employment.
She stressed that hiring the first batch of SHS graduates would ensure the success of the law which was enacted in May 2013.
According to the DepEd, around 1.2 million SHS students are expected to graduate for School Year 2017-2018.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones had expressed “very high hopes” that this year’s SHS graduates – particularly those who completed the Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) track – will be taken in by corporations.