Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Northern Mindanao have gathered in one episode of ‘Talakayan sa PIA’ on 5 December 2017 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City to discuss about the changes in education sector in line with ASEAN integration.
Education Program Supervisor and Senior High School Coordinator of DepEd region 10 Dr. Ninian Alcasid shared that there had been significant change in the basic education in the country beginning the implementation of K to 12 program. With the addition of Junior and Senior high school, students are being prepared for the real world of work, entrepreneurship and higher education.
According to Alcasid, DepEd crafted Philippines Qualifications Framework to align with ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework particularly with K to 12. Among the preparations for ASEAN include improved basic education, improved competitiveness of Filipino professionals, and explore complimentary venture between foreign and local professionals.
The graduates of the program will not only be mere graduates of basic education but also equipped with skills and knowledge to take the next road, said Alcasid. These graduates now have the option to be part of the skilled work force if they choose the tech-voc path or entrepreneurship or go on with higher education if they choose the academe.
Meanwhile, CHED has also prepared an outcomes based curriculum in line with ASEAN and in effect of K to 12. Natalie Igot, supervising education program specialist of CHED 10 said that since junior and senior high school of K to 12 would now take up the first two years of college, CHED has crafted a different curriculum to cater to the changes of education in the country.
Igot shared that they are giving orientations to various colleges and universities region wide to implement new curriculum in 2018 for new freshmen from K to 12. They will no longer have the subjects that were taught in the previous curriculum for freshmen year but they will be given general education that will fit all types of courses. Igot said through this, they hope to develop critical thinking skills, intellectual competencies, creative thinking and multiple forms of expression and civic competencies in community and country among new freshmen starting next year.
On the other hand, Leo Velez, provincial director of TESDA Misamis Oriental shared that there are only two things they want to accomplish through ASEAN, is to produce quality and competitive workforce.
Velez said that one of the developments of TESDA in the ASEAN integration is the signing of ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals. This will enable TESDA to facilitate mobility of Tourism Professionals/ Workers; exchange information on best practices in competency-based education and training for Tourism Professionals; and provide opportunities for cooperation and capacity building across ASEAN Member States.
Meanwhile, DOLE Assistant Regional Director Estrella Pahalla shared that we must produce graduates that are fit the industry needs. Right now, among the industries that top the list are construction, service sector and Information Communications Technology (ICT).
She said that based on statistics, the youth composes almost half of the unemployed population in Northern Mindanao which comprises 1.29 Million aged 15 to 24 years old. Meanwhile youth unemployment rate in Northern Mindanao is 13.6 which is double the national rate.
Pahalla explained that DOLE has come up with various programs to address this including Job Start and Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) among others. (JMOR/PIA10)