The government should reduce the number of holidays in the country if it wanted to strengthen the education system.
This was the suggestion aired on Tuesday by Chito Salazar, president of Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), amid moves aimed at improving the quality of education in the country.
With the frequent holidays in the country, according to him, the number of school days was also reduced.
“We have to reduce the number of holidays in order for us to lengthen the school year,” Salazar said during the launching of the Human Development Report 2015 in Makati City (Metro Manila).
Apart from holidays, typhoons and calamities have also been a contributing factor in the reduction in the number of school days.
The Philippines is frequently hit by typhoons, thus, suspension of classes happens often.
Because school buildings are also being used as evacuation centers during calamities, school authorities are prompted to prolong the suspension of classes.
“The Philippines has one with the shortest [number of]school days in the world,” Salazar said.
At the same time, he added, the Philippine education should be open to changes if the government wanted it to go hand in hand with the changing work world.
“Many of the traditional programs not being offered by schools but being offered by companies precisely because of general dissatisfaction in the products, or of students going out in universities or schools,” Salazar said.
He added that some “schools cannot produce fast enough or not producing the right skills” thus affecting the employment of their graduates.
“These changes in education are precisely responding to changes in the workforce. Education must change within and willing to change within,” Salazar said.
Irene Isaac, director-general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), said the K-to-12 program being implemented by the government could help develop skills of students and later prepare them for the job they want to land.
“The K-to-12 program is being implemented so that those who go out of school could apply functional knowledge,” she added.
Isaac said there are still threats to effective and successful implementation of K-to-12 such as policies, financing and the lack of understanding of parents on the program. RITCHIE A. HORARIO