Mendoza: SHS graduates: Gauging the products of the K to 12 curriculum

WITH the coming graduation of the first batch of Senior High School (SHS) students under the K to 12 Curriculum, the momentous event is now being anticipated with excitement by many and anxiety by some especially those who are not fully convinced of the new curriculum, first to be done in Philippine education history.

The graduation will let the learners decide on what to continue on the four exits envisioned for SHS graduates – higher education, entrepreneurship, employment, or middle-level skills development – so that they will become full-fledged contributors to social development and nation-building as envisioned by the Department.

As provided by the curriculum spelled out in RA 10533, the Department of Education (DepEd) from the central office up to the schools and learning centers can say that the K to 12 Basic Education Program has equipped them with values, knowledge, and skills that communities, businesses, and industries need.

In a published press release from the Department's website, it says that "DepEd recognizes the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (PCCI) concern in regard to the minimum number of training hours of SHS graduates, and maintains its confidence in the strong partnerships it has forged and continues to foster with different industry partners, such as PCCI, that enable SHS graduates to strike a balance between theory and practice – specifically through Work Immersion".

For the information of the general public reading this column, Work Immersion is a key subject under the SHS Curriculum that may be conducted in different ways and time frame as needed by SHS learners. The subject will provide learners with opportunities to become familiar with the work place; for employment simulation; and to apply their competencies in areas of specialization/applied subjects in authentic work environments. It is the equivalent of on the job training for more matured college students who are about to graduate.

It can be remembered that DepEd crafted DepEd Order No. 30, series 2017 (DO 30, s. 2017), or Guidelines for Work Immersion, to provide learners with access to industry partners’ facilities and employment simulation where they are given opportunities to apply their competencies, gain practical industrial skills, and develop good work ethics and values relevant to pursuing further education and/or joining the world of work.

Further, it was stated in the same DO that a learner is required to render a minimum of 80 hours for Work Immersion. Consequently, as provided by law, a child below the age of 18 but older than 15 must spend a maximum of 40 hours per week and no more than eight hours per day in the work immersion venue.

Deped also emphasizes that the same issuance does not limit a learner’s practical work experience hours to 80 hours and offers several delivery models from which schools may choose based on the number of hours (80 hours, 240 hours, 320 hours); learner’s purpose and needs; school capabilities and compliance to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), and DepEd Work Immersion Guidelines. Schools may also design their own delivery model as they deem fit for a specific situation or concern, subject to the approval of the Regional Office.

Before it was formally started six years ago, the K to 12 Program was crafted in close coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), Tesda and representatives of business community. It aims to produce lifelong learners who are locally and globally competitive, and ready to pursue their desired path.

This Corner hopes that the first batch of SHS graduates will pave way to a more productive youth ready to face the four exits enumerated above for their own good, for their family, the community and the entire country.

- o0O0o -

Director’s Cut:(This portion features the thoughts of Atty. Alberto T. Escobarte, CESO IV, Regional Director, DepED Region 11 to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education). "Let me assure you that in the performance of my official duties and even my private acts will be guided and guarded by my Oath of Office, The PanunumpangKawaningGobyerno, the Philippine Constitution and all the laws that govern our actions.”

- o0O0o –

You can access DepED Updates, latest issuances, photos and other relevant information through our website: http://www.deped.gov.ph and our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Deped.Philippines/. For queries, complains and other concerns for the different schools divisions email them to davao.city@deped.gov.ph, davao.delsur@deped.gov.ph, davao.delnorte@deped.gov.ph, tagum.city@deped.gov.ph, panabo.city@deped.gov.ph, igacos@deped.gov.ph, davao.oriental@deped.gov.ph, digos.city@deped.gov.ph, mati.city@deped.gov.ph and compostela.valley@deped.gov.ph.
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