• Job portal for K-to-12 grads wins big

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    AN ONLINE job portal dedicated to bridging the gap between employers and K to 12 graduates bagged first place in the second Benilde Prize last March 9.

    Ateneo De Naga University, with its project titled ”Dreamweave”, aims to create a mindset that K to 12 graduates are at par with college graduates, with competency-based hiring as the selling point.

    The winning team, spearheaded by Kim Seng as the adviser, Mark Joseph Euste as the leader, and Phoebe Bandoy and Kathleen Villena, took home a P500,000 grant along with several Apple products such as an iPhone 6S for the students and an iPad Mini for the adviser.

    “There will be a workplace simulation game for the students to assess their motivation, compassion and ability to work under pressure in a much more creative way,” Bandoy explained in the final presentation of projects at the Hotel Benilde Maison de La Salle.

    The simulation also provides employers with a less costly way to know which graduates are most suitable for their companies by determining their emotional quotient. Dreamweave takes pride in being the first in the market to highlight K to 12 graduates.

    The Dreamweave team bested two other finalists, two different teams from Mindanao University of Science and Technology, in winning the innovative social design contest.

    A team from Mindanao University of Science and Technology, composed of Corina Iglesia (leader), Eden Mae Ibit, Jan-Jan Tandayag, and Adrian Galido (adviser), addressed fitness through social currency with their proposal “Fitvocacy” while another Mindanao University of Science and Technology team, led by Kay Lorenz Octobre (leader), Albert Ulep Jr., Arnel Travero, Diogenes Pascua (adviser), created a portable sun-shielding device purposely for agricultural workers.

    “If you put the [Benildean mission and vision] into one sentence, it’s to build a just and humane society. Then we realized we have to share this vision with the rest of the other young people and other universities,” Abigail Cabanilla, Benilde School of Design and Arts Associate Dean on New Media and Benilde Prize min proponent, said in an interview.

    “A school is a perfect place to breed social reformers. [It is] also to develop a mindset that [students]can actually change the world, contribute to the community, and learn certain skills along the way,” Cabanilla added.

    Meanwhile, Seng, Dreamweave’s adviser, noted how the evident problems of the K to 12 reform pushed the team to pursue the project.

    “Tumingin sila sa whole cycle of education and nakita nila at what certain point they can give change. Nakita namin ang urgent need in terms of the K to 12 na incoming na at may problem sa cultural narrative na college graduates lang [ang bibigyan ng trabaho]so why not target K-12 students para may change tayo in terms of mindset and be opportunity-inclusive,” (They considered the entire cycle of education, and realized at what point they can bring change. We saw the approaching urgent need in terms of the cultural narrative, so we decided to target K-12 students’ mindset, and help make the system opportunity-inclusive),” Seng said in an interview.

    In addition, the project, according to team leader Euste, poses a proactive solution in the impending K to 12 educational transition.

    “We wanted to give the [K-12 education problem] a pro-active solution yung paparating pa lang na problema para mas hindi na [ito]mas lumaki pa. With this, we believe every graduate of K to 12 or high school man, each of us [has]unique abilities to cope [with]the work field and para ma-empower sila na they are not just K to 12 graduates. Hindi nadidiktahan ng educational attainment mo kung hanggang saan ka lang,” (We wanted to give the approaching [K-12 education problem] a proactive solution so that it would not be exacerbated. With this, we believe every graduate of K to 12 or even high school, has unique abilities to cope with work. We hope to empower them so that they will not just be
    K to 12 graduates. Educational attainment does not determine one’s success),” Euste said.

    Cabanilla hinted that they plan to do the Benilde Prize every two years, saying that the full development and implementation of the winning projects often take more than just a year to fully manifest.

    “Initially, we thought the incubation [of winners]will only take six months, but actually runs to a year and a year and a half. So gusto sana naming by the time Benilde Prize 3.0 happens, we can already present what is happening to last year’s winners. With that, we need more time. Perhaps, we will do Benilde Prize 3.0 in another year,” (“Initially, we thought the incubation [of winners]will only take six months, but actually runs to a year and a year and a half. So we hope that by the time Benilde Prize 3.0 is awarded, we can already present what is happening to last year’s winners. With that, we need more time. Perhaps, we will do Benilde Prize 3.0 in another year,”) Cabanilla said.

    This year’s theme focused on ideas that will contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the Philippines.

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