Harnessing Technical-Vocational Education for Filipino Students(Part 1)
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick
Continuous Relevant moves were made through the government and private organizations involved for the implementation of quality education in the country. These are moves in conjunction to the new education learning structure of the Department of Education (Dep Ed) known as the K-12 curriculum. Past and current interchanges were done and continuously being undertaken to implement the said curriculum. While these pedagogical processes get nearer to its full implementation, these breakthroughs that attempt to empower the fulfillment of the learning objectives are locally and globally supported.
It is a fact that Philippines’ educational system are handled by three government organizations interacting continuously for the governance of Philippine learning system: Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). All these three education governing bodies are interlink for a common purpose for the enrichment and achievement of the learning objectives of the K-12 curriculum. But these three groups however, would fail without the sustenance of other Philippine agencies and without the aid of other private sectors in the country and overseas who stand with the common educational agenda.
The Philippines is the only country member in the ASEAN region that has ten years of basic education compared to Brunei: 15 years; Cambodia 13 years; Indonesia: 13 years; Laos: 13 years; Malaysia: 13/14 years; Myanmar: 12 years; Philippines; 10 years; Singapore: 12 to 14 years; Thailand: 12 years; Timor: 12 years; and Vietnam: 14 to 15 years and with the great distinctive years of difference among these countries’ span of basic education, it is believe that the K-12 may seek to receive quality education disregarding the number of years needed to complete in the Philippine Curriculum.
The K to 12 program is to “broaden the goals of high school education for college preparation, vocational and technical career opportunities as well as creative sports, sports and entrepreneurial employment in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment. It is then urgent that these concern groups move to suffice the objectives stipulated in its reconstruction.
By January 2015, Philippine Star reports that ABOITIZ Company supports more than 26,000 Filipino scholars from preschool, elementary, high school, college, post-graduate and technical-vocational (tech-voc) students. The corporate social development arm of the Aboitiz Group reported this development as well as its other education program milestones at the annual “Interventions in Education” program held during the Tent, Enderun Colleges in Taguig City recently.
Furthermore on February this year, Jose Santos reports that Japanese company Auto Technic Japan Co. (ATJC) will provide P1.2 million worth of automotive technology equipment to the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) regional training center in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. According to Auto Technic president Akio Aoki, the equipment is meant to support the advanced training needs of TESDA vocational students on automotive assembly and repair.
The linkage between TESDA and Auto Technic was spearheaded by Daiki Hoshini, a Japanese volunteer who saw the need for materials and equipment to enhance the automotive skills and boost the job potential of Filipino vocational students in Negros wherein the new facility will also help teachers demonstrate higher automotive manufacturing skills benchmarked to Japanese universities ‘ technical curriculum.
Currently this April, the Dep Ed introduced ICT education for out-of school youth (OSY). Janvic Mateo of the Philippine star writes that “Department of Education (DepEd) has forged a partnership with the STI Education Services Group to establish community learning centers in the school’s 36 campuses to provide information and communication technology education for out-of-school youth.”
Which adds to the vision of Education Secretary Armin Luistro who claims that absolute real mandate of the department is to be in search of those who cannot, in one way or another, enter the system. The STI’s campuses will serve as learning centers of DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) under the Abot-Alam program.
Previously as it should be expected, the Department of Education has manifested its prowess as one of the best performing agencies of the present regime. Let’s reflect on some of the recorded Dep Ed’s achievements: classrooms constructed show that: In 2010: 3,291 classrooms; in 2011: 12,513 classrooms; in 2012: 16,323 classrooms; 2013: 34,686 classrooms; and in 2014: 33,608 classrooms. With regards to new teachers hired, these statistics showed developments: in 2010: 11,347 teachers; 2011: 13, 268 teachers; 2012: 15253 teachers; 2013: 58,793 teachers and in 2014: 29,394 teachers. There has also been a reduction in the number of congested schools. In 2011 there were 81 elementary schools with 4 shifts and in 2014 this was reduced to 0 schools. In 2011 there were 461 elementary schools with 3 shifts and in 2014 this was reduced to 14 schools.
Sources reveals that in 2011 there were “296 secondary schools with 4 shifts and in 2014 this was reduced to 0 schools. In 2011 there 53 secondary schools with 3 shifts and in 2014 this was reduced to 4 schools. There has also been a steady improvement in completion rates and National Achievement Test scores for both elementary and secondary schools.”
This year, the DBM has increased the budget of the public education sector. It was said that the “budget increase of 18.6 percent– as compared to P309.5 billion in 2014—will support the National Government’s thrust for improving people’s access to quality education, including the successful implementation of the K to 12 Program.”
Philippine Information Agency (PIA ) from the National Capital Region (NCR) releases that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad had expressed success in addressing the backlog of classrooms based on the previous targets including the reconstruction of school buildings affected by the previous disasters under the Administration’s ‘Build Back Better’ thrust. Of the DepEd’s total budget, P53.9 billion has been allotted for Basic Education Facilities to cover the construction of 31,728 classrooms as well as the repair of 9,500 more. The amount will also cover the construction of 13,586 water and sanitation facilities, 455 technical-vocational laboratories, and the procurement of 1.3 million seats.
Abad further pointed out that in the coming year, DepEd will also hire more teachers with an allocation of P10.0 billion to create 39,066 new teaching and 1,500 non-teaching positions. On the other hand, the agency will allocate P3.5 billion to purchase and distribute 70.5 million textbooks and instructional materials to schools nationwide. This is more than double last year’s allocation of P1.7 billion including the country’s state universities and colleges (SUCs) which is an important part of the Administration’s program to modernize the public higher education system.
Other DepEd programs received the following budgets: The Abot-Alam Program, Alternative Delivery Mode Project, Basic Education Madrasah Program, Redesigned and Technical-Vocational High School Program
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on the other hand received P2.0 billion for the Training-for-Work Scholarship Program to assist 210,526 enrollees. A total of P7.9 billion has been allotted to different educational aid funds for scholarships, grants, and financial assistance for students who want to earn a college degree which covers the Study Grant for Poverty Alleviation and Students Financial Assistance Program.
Furthermore Japan plays a significant role towards the fulfillment of the country’s pedagogical set-up. Aaron Recuenco wrote that the Japanese government supports the K-12 implementation. “The Japanese government has signed in on the government efforts to renew students’ interest on technical-vocational education through a joint project with the Department of the Education (DepEd) senior representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), by equipping students with technical skills that industries need, Recently, JICA officials visited the Bataan School of Fisheries (BSF), Florida Blanca National Agricultural School (FNAS), and Opol National Secondary Technical School in Mindanao. It was deliberated that there is a need to upgrade curriculum, teacher skills, and facilities in implementing the K to 12 curriculum .The concept is that the educational institutions will tailor-fit their students to suit the needs of the companies.”
JICA reported that they have been linking with garment industries in the Subic Bay Freeport Area, Bataan Freeport Area, and key food and beverage companies and meat processing industries to customize what the students should learn in the industries.
The construction of school buildings and procurement of school equipment in the poorest provinces of the country was facilitated through JICA’s, also, it supported the construction of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s Women’s Center.
Through the continuous and multiple aids extended by the country’s government agencies and other private organizations not to mention the serious supports of some neighboring countries, the basic education of the youth in the country commonly known as K- 12 is indeed a necessity needing immediate primary concern rather than a luxury to be enjoyed.