A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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"Is School the Best Route to Skills?"
"The K to 12 basic education curriculum will be sufficient to prepare students for work." This is one of the promises of the Philippine DepEd K to 12 curriculum. A previous post on this blog therefore raised the question, "DepEd's K to 12 Ensures Employment for Its Graduates?" A recent research article in the Journal of Development Studies,"Is School the Best Route to Skills? Returns to Vocational School and Vocational Skills in Egypt", shows that this is true only if the jobs are provided by the government. Otherwise, "young vocational secondary graduates earn no higher wages and are no more likely to be in a skilled job. Thus,‘investing’ in vocational secondary education appears to have no economic benefits." In the United States, Lanford and Maruco point out that "boundary spanners" are important for these programs to achieve. These spanners are those that maintain a good working relationship between industry and schools. In the Online Journal of Workforce Education and Development, Kash concludes that school to work programs generally fail because businesses are not really willing to do their part. The main reasons for nonparticipation are costs and risks.
Not suprisingly, employers in the Philippines are now saying that the "new graduates of DepEd's K to 12 may not be 'work-ready'".
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
People have strong opinions about almost anything and the issue of education is no exception. How these opinions have been formed needs to be examined. This is what good research does. It informs and guides. A myriad of factors influence education and oftentimes, these factors are not independent from each other. Factors interact, sometimes these add, and other times, these subtract. General notions therefore need to be carefully drawn. Writing articles on education can also be quite challenging. When problems in basic education involve an inability to think critically, it is difficult to reach the audience and convey the correct message. Oftentimes, sarcasm is lost so such style of writing needs to be avoided. For people who are convinced of their wisdom and understanding of how education works, profound messages from basic research can be often easily lost.
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…