"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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

DepEd's K to 12: An Unwanted Choice

DepEd's K to 12 is supposed to offer various tracks for its senior high school. Unlike a restaurant that can provide a wide assortment of buffet dishes, a smorgasbord of curricula is really out of reach for any educational system. The fact that resources are limited makes it impossible for any public school system to give so many options. In the Philippines, the reality is that for every 500 high schools in the Philippines, only one school can really offer DepEd's K to 12 Senior High School curriculum. In the National Capital Region, only four out of ten high schools can offer the academic track, the one that supposedly prepares students for higher education, while seven out of ten are able to provide some type of technical-vocational-livelihood track. One can easily anticipate the nightmare when a majority of students prefer the academic track. Sadly, recent data from Central Luzon indicate that this is the case.

The Inquirer reports:
Above copied from the Inquirer
...only 58 percent of students in Central Luzon entering senior high school have enrolled... ...But more of them preferred to prepare for college degrees than acquire work skills to make them eligible for employment after high school. Of the 82,487 students who have enrolled, 45.87 percent prefer the academic track... ...DepEd said 33.27 percent of them are taking technical-vocational and livelihood courses...
The technical-vocational and livelihood senior high school track is really a "hard sell". That students would acquire work skills through a vocational track making them eligible for employment after high school is a promise that is really difficult to keep. Evidence is lacking with regard to benefits of a vocational track in senior high school. Tutan Ahmed and Raghabendra Chattopadhyay have recently examined the benefits of a general education and vocational education and training in India. Their conclusions are:
In general, formal Vocational Education and Training (VET) and On the Job Training (OJT) are profitable for an individual in wage employment. However, this profitability declines when the effect of the training is measured at a higher level of general education. Formal VET and OJT for the primary and secondary school dropouts are clearly profitable. 
I emphasized "school dropouts" because these are the individuals that truly benefit from vocational training. It is therefore not surprising why some parents would prefer that their children take the academic track.



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