MANILA – The chair of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture on Wednesday said it is crucial to introduce adjustments to the Kinder to Grade 12 (K to 12) curriculum that will equip graduates with the necessary skills and competencies to make them employable.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, committee chair and Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo said he agrees with Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte’s plan to revise the K-12 curriculum to ensure graduates are more job-ready.
Romulo noted that the curriculum is congested and must be simplified to the most essential, adding that it must also be aligned with the needs or demands of the industries that will employ the K to 12 graduates.
“Katulad ng nabanggit ni Vice President Sara, mag-uumpisa tayo po tayo sa curriculum adjustment kasi iyon naman po talaga iyong hinahanap – iyong competencies doon, iyong skills doon, iyong talento po, iyong pag-equip po natin, capacity building sa ating mga estudyante. At iyon po iyong sinasabi na pag-adjust po natin ng curriculum para simplified siya at tumutugon po siya sa pangangailangan po na makapagtrabaho iyong mga gustong magtrabaho na kabataang Pilipino pagkatapos ng K-12 (Just like what Vice President Sara said, we need to start with curriculum adjustment. Because these are what [industries] are looking for–the competencies, skills, talents. We must equip our students with these and build their capacity. That’s why we need to adjust the curriculum to make it simplified and attuned to the needs of the Filipino youth who want to get jobs after K to 12),” he said.
He said parents have been complaining about the additional financial burden because of the unfulfilled promise of employment that the K to 12 system offered after graduation from senior high school.
“Sinasabi sa atin ng industriya, hindi nila nai-employ eh pagkatapos ng K-12. So dapat po talaga ayusin natin, mag-adjust na po tayo, simplehan na po natin. Siguraduhin lang po natin na iyong matututunan noong ating mga mag-aaral sa K-12 ay handa sila sa mga trabaho na nag-aabang para sa kanila. Kapag nagawa po natin iyon, tingin ko naman po iyong nasasabi po na additional burden po na two years ay kahit papaano ay unti-unting mawawala iyan (The industries have been telling us that they do not hire K to 12 graduates. So we really need to fix this [curriculum], adjust it, and make it simpler. We just have to ensure that whatever the K to 12 students will learn would prepare them for the jobs that await them. If we are able to do that, then I think, the additional burden of two years would gradually be lifted),” he added.
According to the Bureau of Curriculum Development, 83 percent of SHS graduates pursued higher education, while only 10 percent of graduates were employed.
During the Basic Education Report (BER) 2023 on Monday, Duterte vowed to revise the K to 12 Curriculum “to make them more responsive to our aspiration as a nation, to develop lifelong learners who are imbued with 21st-century skills, discipline, and patriotism.”
She emphasized consulting experts, adapting to local and international best practices and formulating decisions based on evidence to equip children with appropriate skills, instead of mere familiarity.
Duterte then called on the industries to help the sector in breaking down school-to-employment gaps or mismatches.
“To make our graduates employable, we appeal to the industry, and to employers, to accept our students in work immersions, and hire them when they graduate,” she said.
The DepEd shall also work closely with the Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Training Authority to address job mismatch.
As for the efforts of the House of Representatives to improve the country’s education system, Romulo said the chamber unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 6572, or the proposed Public Schools of the Future in Technology Act (PSOFT) Act.
The bill would implement a PSOFT Program in all public elementary and secondary schools with the goal of incorporating technological innovations and approaches into the teaching and learning processes.
A PSOFT Inter-Agency Task Force would be established to develop a road map to ensure that programs and projects are aimed at improving educational quality through the use of digital technology.
Romulo also highlighted that HB 6574, or the proposed Basic Education Mental Health and Well-Being Act, hurdled third and final reading with 272 affirmative votes.
This measure would promote the emotional, psychological, and mental health well-being of learners and teachers to enhance their learning preparedness, including learner-children in conflict with the law, student at risk of dropping out, learner-victims of violence against women and children, and learner-victims to other related forms of child abuse and criminal acts. (PNA)