The False Promise and Empty Threat of DepEd's K+12

Part of critical thinking is to consider multiple perspectives. Correctly weighing on an issue requires judiciously examining both sides while being firmly guided by evidence. With regard to DepEd's K+12, it is a helpful exercise to look at what proponents are saying in defense of the new curriculum. Part of the defense is making promises or threats. One promise that DepEd makes is that the new curriculum will ease unemployment. DepEd seems to think that reducing unemployment is as easy as obliterating "un" from the word "unemployed" on a chalkboard.

Above copied from European Trade Union Committee for Education
Arvil Adams writing for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report makes the relationship between education and employment quite clear with a section heading in the paper entitled The Role of Skills Development in OvercomingSocial Disadvantage. It even comes with a graph to prove the point.
Vocational education and training offers no guarantee as a solution to youth unemployment. 

Across various countries, the average ratio of youth to adult unemployment is around two to four. There is clearly no correlation between senior secondary vocational enrollment and the rate of youth unemployment across countries. While the above facts are obvious, here is the promise from DepEd.

DepEd: K to 12 to help ease unemployment

MANILA, Philippines - High school  graduates under the K to 12 program can find employment or start their own livelihood because they will be trained in vocational and technical skills, according to the Department of Education (DepEd). 
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the additional two years in high school are intended to further hone the skills and talents of students for their chosen career path – in arts, sports, technical vocational and entrepreneurship – or tertiary education to help ease unemployment in the country. 
“It is expected to give graduates better choices in the field of work or further education,” Luistro said.

And more recently, lawmakers have the audacity to strike fear by saying that repealing the K-12 law means greater unemployment.

House leaders say repealing K-12 law will increase unemployment

  • Written by   
  • Monday, 11 May 2015 00:00
While some groups, including the Magdalo partylist, have called for the repeal of the law governing the K-12 program, House leaders yesterday said removing the program would mean more unemployment.

The unemployment situation in the Philippines can be easily understood by looking at the country's unemployment data. The numbers from the IBON foundation are quite clear:
Almost half or 47.3% of all unemployed were in the 15-24 year old age-group as of January 2015. Meanwhile, almost a third (31.6%) of all unemployed were in the 25-34 age group during the same period... should be noted that among the unemployed, almost three out of 10 (33.4%) had a college education, with at least 20.4% actually having graduated. Moreover, 7 of 10 unemployed youth were high-school or college-educated. In 2014, some 553,706 graduated from college yet only 518,000 jobs were created the year before. 
Thus, almost 80 percent of unemployed are in the 15-34 age group and 70 percent are either high-school graduates or college-educated. Being employed requires at least two things: an applicant having the skills or training required, and an actual job that is waiting to be filled. Employment does not come solely from what a prospective employee or worker can offer. Employment requires job opportunities. In this area, there are additional numbers from the IBON Foundation worth mentioning:
The overwhelming part of additional employed in 2014 was in poor quality part-time, low-paying and insecure work. Of the one million in new employment in 2014, nine out of ten (90%) or 918,000 were just in part-time work of which 605,000 was of less than 20 hours per week. Some eight out of ten (77%) of the work were in sectors with average daily basic pay of Php356 or less. Moreover, nearly 700,000 jobs were also in informal sector or unpaid family work which is notorious for low pay and job insecurity.
The main reason behind unemployment is that there are no jobs. In fact, it is no secret that more people from the Philippines are finding work abroad. Here again are numbers from the IBON Foundation:
The country deployed over 4,500 workers per day in 2014 which is much greater than the 2,800 additional employed domestically per day, the group said. Preliminary deployment data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed 1.7 million deployed overseas Filipino workers in 2014, or an average of 4,508 leaving every day. Earlier data for the first nine months of the year showed over 5,200 leaving every day but this was reduced by the marked drop in reported deployment in the fourth quarter.
How then does one reconcile the above facts with the promises offered by DepEd and the threats made by leaders of Congress. It is simple. These are false promises and empty threats.