"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Preparing for 21st Century Jobs

The title is really catchy. No, I do not mean the title of this article, but the title used by Alan Singer in his blog on Huffington Post: Preparing Students for 21st Century Jobs at McDonald's:


Singer's article talks about the lowering of academic standards in New York schools by introducing an alternative pathway to a high school diploma, specifically by taking special "Career Readiness" courses. Assessment on one of these special tracks can be taken in place of one of the regents' exams on social studies, science, or math. Singer then examines an example for an assessment. This one is used for the specific field of "Food and Beverage". It is taken from NOCTI, an organization that provides "industry-based credentials and partner industry certifications for career and technical education (CTE) programs across the nation".

And here are the sample questions:


The following is what Alan Singer has to say after seeing the above questions:
"This is not a test for a year long vocational program that prepares students for future careers. It barely qualifies as a quiz at the end of a one-hour on-line prep session. Personally, I think every high school graduate needs to know the difference between a latté and an espresso or how else can they work at Starbucks, but I have lived a long time and I am still not sure what a café mocha is. On a serious level, the only "career" this program and exam prepares high school students for are dead-in food service jobs at fast-food restaurants."
The DepEd K+12 curriculum in the Philippines has something similar. For high school, students can choose the following:



And the following are among the learning competencies prescribed by the curriculum on Food and Beverages:

And I can easily modify Singer's statement so that this time it addresses the DepEd K+12 curriculum:
"This is not a curriculum for a year long vocational program that prepares students for future careers. It barely qualifies as a high school subject. Personally, I think every kindergartener needs to know that they need to wash their hands after using the bathroom or how else can they work at Jolibee. On a serious level, the only "career" this program and exam prepares high school students for are dead-in food service jobs at fast-food restaurants." (Printed in bold are my words)
DepEd K+12 does tout itself as a curriculum that will prepare students for 21st Century Jobs - 21st Century jobs in fast-food restaurants....




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