"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, May 20, 2015

DepEd K to 12 Graduates Could Start Their Own Business, Seriously?

DepEd has been using catchy phrases such as "learner-centered", "holistic development", and "globally competitive" while it promotes its new K to 12 curriculum. Recently, DepEd has framed its advertisement in simpler terms. Jovic Yee of the Daily Inquirer quotes Undersecretary for Governance and Operations Rizalino Rivera as claiming that "students ... could also start their own business after graduating from the senior high school program". Rivera does start with the old lie that the new curriculum would improve employment opportunities but this entrepreneurship assertion is simply outrageous.

Above copied from the Inquirer
Teaching students to become self-employed is definitely not supported by evidence from research. The abstract of a paper published in the Journal of Small Business Management states quite clearly how much we know with regard to the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in universities:
Does entrepreneurship education (E-ed) really work to create business enterprise? We conducted a comprehensive review and methodological critique of the empirical research on the outcomes of university-based E-ed. We identified every empirical study conducted over the past decade, and found 12 that minimally met our methodologically “robust” (Storey Steps 4–6) standard. Our systematic critique of the studies' research methods found a variety of methodological weaknesses, undermining confidence in the belief that E-ed can produce entrepreneurship. The implications for both practice and policy are discussed, and recommendations are made for conducting future E-ed outcome research.
This is in higher education where results are clearly inconclusive. Starting a business, of course, requires so many factors beside education. In "Why are some people more likely to become small-businesses owners than others: Entrepreneurship entry and industry-specific barriers", published in the Journal  of Business Venturing, the following table shows one of the important factors, capital:

Table A1.
Mean years of schooling and business equity by industry.

Industry characteristics

Sample mean

Years of schoolingBusiness equity ($)
Low-barrier industries13.131,354
 Repair services12.313,507
 Personal services12.917,691
 Food and child-care services13.03,305
High-barrier industries15.349,562
 Wholesale trade14.156,184
 Business services14.449,934
 Finance, insurance & real estate14.8131,669
 Entertainment services15.110,838
 Professional services16.828,060
Source: 1996 and 2001 SIPP panels.

Finding evidence that entrepreneurship education could be effective at the secondary level is even more difficult. The title alone of a paper published in the International Journal of Management of Education tells us that what we mostly know are failures:

DepEd has been defending its K to 12 curriculum against its critics. The defense is nothing but a misinformation campaign. DepEd secretary Luistro even goes as far as issuing the following challenge:
"We're building the classrooms now. What will we do with the 30,000 classroooms and the other classrooms that private schools have already built? I will ask those who will try to stop it to please solve the problem on how to address the investments that have already been put in."
Actually, these should not be perceived as investments. These are in fact the much needed resources of the old ten-year curriculum. Classrooms are not going to waste even if the new curriculum does not push through. The new modules and various mass training are indeed going to waste. These, however, have long been of no value since the modules are of poor quality and the training is largely ineffective.

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