Labor Watch: K+12, Job Fairs and the Out-of-school Youths


“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.” — Ernest Hemingway
When the government through the Department of Education (DepEd) introduced the K+12 program wherein the 2 year Kindergarten education is compulsory and the addition of 2 years in high school, many parents reacted as it will mean additional years of spending. But the yellow president proudly said that the education system of the country will be uplifted as it will be leveled up with those of other countries especially the developed ones like United States and Japan. He said that upon finishing the six years of high school, the youth is already skilled and fit for applying for jobs.
But according to the Panagtignay dagiti Nakukurapay nga Agtutubo para iti Tarigagay dagiti Umili a Demokrasya (Pinatud-Anakbayan), an urban poor youth group where most of its members are out-of-school youths as some of them have to work already to augment their family income, said words of the president are somewhat insulting as it is an indirect acceptance that most of the students who will graduate from the six year high school have no chance in going to college. The president seems to say that the Filipino youth who cannot afford to go to college — and eventually finish a professional course that could give them better job opportunities someday — will upon graduating from high school should apply for much lower occupations because that is already their fate or destiny.
The youth group is also criticizing the job fairs which the government is religiously staging every Independence Day, Labor Day and other holidays. Instead of teaching the young the essence of remembering those special days, the government is diverting the knowledge and consciousness of the youth about what makes those days special in the lives of the Filipino people. The youth, especially the out-of-school and the unemployed ones, are also like small kids who are being given candies and toys just to stop crying or complaining.
From their point of view, the out-of-school youth cannot really benefit from the job fairs. Some of the Pinatud members tried to look at the jobs being offered. They found out that many of them are work in call centers. One of the members said that many of the out-of-school youths and the unemployed living here in the city are not good in English much more in speaking the language with slangs and twangs to impress the costumers. They even said that more jobs are what they called abroad-oriented as factory workers and laborers.
Job fairs, K+12 are the only few of the brilliant ideas of the people in the government alleviate poverty. They introduce these without even looking into why many are saying that the Philippine education is rotting and the rising number of the unemployed every is because of the absence of permanent jobs.
The urban poor youth, many of them are working at their young age as stone wallers (kabiteros) or hunt for por dia jobs to earn money and buy food in order to survive and not die of hunger. #