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Calizo raises concern on work readiness of K to 12 graduates

“HOW will students get to the schools that will be offering their preferred tracks?”

This was the question posed by Councilor Romeo V. Calizo, quoting a statement of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) that K to 12 graduates are not work-ready.

The councilor delivered his special report on the matter during the City Council regular session on Monday presided over by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy.

He reported that the Department of Education (DepEd) and other implementing government agencies are expecting to have at least 1.3 million graduates from all over the country who are supposed to be work-ready and employable.

It may be noted that Cagayan de Oro City was one of the ten pilot cities chosen for the implementation of the senior high school program last June 2015, a year ahead of other public schools in the country like Quezon, Catbalogan, Himamaylan, Tagum, Sorsogon, Marikina, Cebu, Dipolog, Dagupan and Santa Rosa, he cited.

“But unfortunately, while a large number of entry-level jobs are capable of being filled with K to 12 graduates, many companies are still hesitant simply because there are many college graduates out there with no jobs. And as a matter of preference, most of these companies would rather hire a college graduate over a high school graduate,” the councilor added.

The PCCI said that the K to 12 program insufficiently provides the basic essential technical trainings and knowledge to students. Furthermore, the current 80-hour or two-week long minimum requirement for the on-the-job (OJT) for senior high students is reportedly not enough to equip them with all the skills they need to be work-ready.

Calizo said, according to the PCCI not all of the 39 high schools in the city will offer the basic four tracks designed by the DepEd under senior high.

As an example, he said, Balubal High School and San Simon High School have been identified to offer only the Agriculture strand under the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track.

“There seems to be a mismatch of the skills of our graduates needed to that of our existing industries as well as lack of mechanisms to find job matches between the two institutions. Considerably noted is that there is yet no full assessment if the curriculum is enough to prepare the learners for the real world,” Calizo pointed out.

To address this, the councilor said the city should coordinate with proper agencies to come up with mechanisms or solutions to the arising problem. He further proposed the creation of a team coming from different agencies of the government such as DepEd, CHED, TESDA), private (business) sectors and NGOs to study and assess the condition and come up with recommendations and possible solutions.

Vice Mayor Uy referred the report to the committee on education chaired by Councilor Suzette M. Daba for appropriate action. (JAO)

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