AN education advocate who has been assisting high school students in finding the right career path sees a brighter future for students who will finish senior high school (Grades 11 and 12) as more job opportunities are awaiting technical-vocational (tech-voc) graduates.
Henry Motte-Muñoz, the 29-year-old founder of social enterprise Edukasyon.ph, said 16-year-old students who just complete the 10-year cycle in basic education do not have any skills ready for employment, unlike the 18-year olds who finished senior high school who are far more skilled and jobs-ready.
“Senior high school is important because it will provide employers with 18-year olds who are better skilled and suited for employment than 16-year high school graduates,” Muñoz, half Filipino-half French, told The Manila Times in an exclusive interview.
He noted that tech-voc education will address jobs skills mismatch in the country because private companies would only hire workers who had hands-on training in the workplace and those who had the skills needed for a particular job.
“Tech-voc education is very important because it’s incredibly employment focus. The ability to be employed is much higher if you have a tech-voc degree. The tech-voc [course]will give you an additional skill and its focus is on employment. Companies, you know, are more comfortable hiring senior high school graduates,” Munoz, a graduate of the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School, explained.
“We can address the jobs skills mismatch by helping students identify their dream careers, and explaining to them whether these careers are recruiting, and if so, from which courses and schools,” he said.
Munoz acknowledged the fact that not all graduating high school students would be able to pursue higher education because of financial constraints.
“For the skills and for the income that you have, there’s always a course that can work for you. You should really know all your options,” he said.
The young education advocate, however, said he does not see that students who earn a college degree will have a greater advantage than those who will take up a tech-voc course.
“They [tech-voc vs college education] serve different industries. According to previous research, tech-voc graduates on average have a higher employment rate than college graduates, but this will obviously fluctuate by institution and by course subject,” Muñoz noted.