CEBU CITY -- Forty-three senior high school students, who were part of the first implementation of the K to 12 plus project, graduated on Friday, April 6.
The graduates are from the Zapatera National High School (ZNHS) who took construction classes, while the other graduates are from the Barrio Luz National High School (BLNHS) who studied food manufacturing.
The ZNHS, BLNHS and Banilad Center for Professional Development, which students are set to graduate after the Holy Week, were the pilot areas for K to 12 plus project implementation in Cebu City.
The project, which was implemented by the AFOS Foundation and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in 2015 a year before the National Government implemented the program nationwide, aims to introduce the Technical-Vocation Education Track (TVET) in the Senior High School (Grade 11 to 12).
"Nag-una ta'g duha ka tuig kay gi-pilot ta sa AFOS Foundation and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. So kani atong mga bata sponsored ni sila. So free tuition, free immersion, free assessment, free all," said Disiree Atabay, adviser of the food manufacturing specialization class of BLNHS.
The TVET covered tourism, food manufacturing, and construction-related skills.
Atabay added that the students are the product of experimentation, a great successful experiment and next year's batch will be the product of proper implementation of the Department of Education's program.
Elizabeth May Ybañez, CCCI executive director, challenged the graduates to share their knowledge to others and see the beauty of a Technical Vocational (TechVoc) career.
"I expect them to share the lessons that they've learned, the beauty of TechVoc as a career path because others, especially the parents, still have to be convinced that technical vocational field is a career path," Ybañez said.
Carmel Deloy, a graduate of food manufacturing specialization from BLNHS, is thankful for having been part of the project.
"The project has given me the chance of immersion, the industry interaction. My skills are developed and I can now look for a job because I have my NC II certificates," Deloy said.
Deloy acquired the highest grade in her class and received awards.
TVET coordinator in construction Bryan Araneta, who was among the guests in Zapatera's graduation rites, said the project will be giving an additional one-year specialized training to those graduates who have not yet planned to look for a job.
The K to 12 plus project is a multi-stakeholder initiative supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This project aims to assist the ongoing Education and Training Reform of the Government of the Philippines. (Jessa May Bidong, CNU Communication Intern/SunStar Philippines)