In "The False Promise and Empty Threat of DepEd's K+12
", data from countries all over the world are shared to show that "vocational education and training offers no guarantee as a solution to youth unemployment."
Worse, a study from China
now suggests that "vocational schooling as a substitute for academic schooling can have detrimental consequences for building human capital in developing countries such as China."
DepEd's K to 12 senior high school years are categorized into different tracks. Using projections made by DepEd
on the number of teachers required, it is anticipated that a super majority of the students are expected to take the Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) tracks. And within the Academic track, most are expected to take either the Accountancy, Business and Management or the Humanities and the Social Sciences strands, but not Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. With this in mind, it is indeed troubling to find that research from China demonstrates that vocational schooling leads to:
- an absolute reduction in math skills
- an increase in school dropouts
- greater gaps between low income, low ability pupils and advantaged students
Therefore, we need to reiterate the major findings of the above WBER paper:
Taken together, our findings
suggest that the rapid expansion of vocational schooling as a substitute for academic
schooling can have detrimental consequences for building human capital in developing
countries such as China.
This is important especially in the Philippines' situation where students seem to have very limited options
but to enroll in TLE or TVL tracks.
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