Vice President Leni Robredo warned that K-to-12 graduates may end up unemployed because of the mismatch between the available skills and the demands of the labor market.
The Vice President sounded the alarm as she called on the private sector to partner with her office.
“We expect the first batch of senior high schools to graduate in 2018, and so we have a year and a half before they enter the labor force if they so wish. Related to this, we are a bit concerned that the number one track chosen by high school students now is baking. We are not sure just how many bakeshops can accommodate our graduates,” Robredo said in a speech at the Asian Institute of Management.
The K-to-12 program implements additional two years in high school (Grade 11 and Grade 12) and allows students to choose from five contextualized subject tracks: academic, technical-vocational livelihood, arts/design and sports. The strategy aims to make senior high school graduates employable.
“There is a disconnect between the competencies developed by our labor force and jobs demanded by our graduates. That is why we want to create a database of existing and prospective jobs that the private sector will be needing in the next two to three years,” she pointed out.
“This will result in evidence-based decision-making in career and curriculum planning, and allow better skills and job matching in our economy. With the help of the private sector and local government units, such a database on a national level, can also smoothen development between Metro Manila and other cities by pointing our graduates to where their skills are needed most,” Robredo added.
The Vice President said poverty should not be addressed by feeding more children and building more houses.
“We have to stop counting the number of children fed. When we were conducting these roundtable discussions, we discovered that there were so many foundations involved in feeding programs but most of the feeding programs out there are not really concerned about metrics. They are more concerned about the number of children fed and we are trying to change that mindset and they are very open to change. The real measure is how many children were taken out of malnutrition, how many children were taken out of hunger,” she argued.
“We cannot measure our success by counting houses built for the poor, when these houses are not liveable for lack of access to water, electricity, market, schools, churches, livelihood and public safety. We must use the right metrics that revolve around quality of life,” Robredo added.