Gov’t does not employ senior high graduates—Sen. Gatchalian

Gov’t does not employ senior high graduates—Sen. Gatchalian

RESLIE is a senior high school graduate who took the Technical-Vocational Livelihood Track but still struggles to find a job.

“They say you need to graduate from college to get [a job]. Because if not, you can’t get [a job]. They say it’s not allowed. (So now?) I just sell goods instead,” Reslie Golahara stressed.

Currently, he works part-time in Quezon City to save for college next year.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said it’s not only the private sector; even the government is not hiring senior high school graduates.

“Because if the government mandated senior high school, it means the government believes in the capability of senior high school. But the government itself doesn’t hire senior high school graduates because the government’s qualification standards are low,” Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said.

Lawmaker files bill compelling CSC to hire senior high graduates

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian filed a bill called the Batang Magaling Act. This is to mandate the Civil Service Commission to review hiring processes and ensure job opportunities for SHS graduates across all government levels.

“The qualification standards will be improved. Salaries will be raised, and specific positions will be given to senior high school graduates within the government if they pass interviews and assessments, of course. But there will already be specific jobs for Senior High School graduates,” Sen. Gatchalian added.

“It’s a game changer when the government hires, as it shows confidence in the abilities and skills of senior high school graduates.”

“We support that again because that is another avenue for us to boost employability. Kasi tayo pong nasa government dapat we also hire our Senior High School Graduates,” Usec. Michael Poa, Department of Education said.

Gov’t signs policies providing free assessment for SHS grads, integration of TVET in K-12

One of the identified reasons why Senior High School graduates, especially those who take the Technical-Vocational Livelihood Track, have difficulty finding employment is due to their lack of national certification.

According to Gatchalian, the assessment to obtain certification costs from one to five thousand pesos.

“When they look for jobs and say they took the TVL track, they can’t provide any document. Many parents, especially those of senior high school graduates, are frustrated because their children are struggling to find employment but do not have any documents to show,” Gatchalian stressed.

Because of this, the Department of Education and TESDA signed a joint memorandum circular last Friday for free assessment to obtain national certification for students graduating from the Senior High School Technical-Vocational Livelihood Track.

Under the General Appropriations Act of 2024, P538 million was allocated for free assessment, adding national certification assessors, and for the capacity-building program of teachers to become accredited competency assessors.

To further ensure the employability or capability of Senior High School graduates to get jobs, DepEd, TESDA, Commission on Higher Education, and the Department of Labor and Employment also signed to include Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in all tracks of Senior High School.

This aims for students to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in the industry they wish to enter.

“We reviewed the training regulations of TESDA and found that, currently, there are around 65 to 80 qualifications that we can embed in the academic track of our senior high school,” According to El Cid Castillo, Executive Director, TESDA – Qualifications Standards Office.

Examples of TVET courses to be included in Senior High School are bookkeeping, customer services and care, bread and pastry production, and entrepreneurship.

DepEd hopes that through these measures, it will no longer be difficult for Senior High School graduates to find jobs.

“Because they will have skills training in Senior High School that is truly appropriate. Then they will be given certification. And we are also including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Let us not forget that with DOLE, we are coordinating to see the current industry demand. When we put all those together, the employability of our Senior High School students will become more attractive and will increase,” Poa added.

DepEd also assured that the inclusion of TVET in all tracks of Senior High School will not hinder the review of the K-12 curriculum.

 

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