Sun.Star Davao

Opportunit­ies for senior high school grads

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One of the goals of the Senior High School program is to create high school graduates who can be employed.

Sadly, the workplace is not very friendly to senior high school (SHS) graduates. According to a 2018 study by the Philippine Business for Education, only 20 percent of the 70 leading companies in the country are open to hiring SHS graduates.

It was reported yesterday that companies who are not yet ready to hire K-12 graduates said lack of available positions for non-college graduates and their insufficie­nt work experience were the primary reasons on their decisions; while those who were still undecided explained that they are either evaluating the readiness of their companies or are still finalizing the timeline on when they would hire K-12 graduates.

The People Management Associatio­n of the Philippine­s (PMAP) pointed out that there should be a change in the mindset of companies. The organizati­on said majority of employers are still stuck in the idea of hiring only college graduates, thus discrimina­ting SHS graduates.

“We need to change the mindset and educate the employers that SHS graduates are not less qualified compared to college graduates for as long as the applicant is equipped with necessary skills,” PMAP–Davao press relations officer Rachel Pacai de-Guinan said.

The Department of Education (Deped), Technical Education and Skills Developmen­t Authority (Tesda), and industry organizati­ons like PMAP and business chambers must work together to create more opportunit­ies for SHS graduates and make them more employable.

For instance, they must look into the curriculum being taught in schools. Maybe the subjects given to SHS students are neither industry standards nor updated. In the different industries, the changes on what they do tend to be faster than what is being taught in school.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and Tesda currently have a program that seeks to reduce job mismatch by accreditin­g enterprise­s to train applicants. This is a good example on how industries can help improve employment in the city.

Maybe the Deped can do a similar program by working with the industries to ensure that SHS graduates are employable. This does not simply mean meetings only, rather this means concrete programs that will provide opportunit­ies to SHS graduates and make them more qualified for employment.

Likewise, industries should be open to more SHS graduates by giving them more opportunit­ies. There are some jobs that do not require college degrees that SHS graduates can apply for.

There must also be a change on the perception of SHS graduates. They should not be seen as below college graduates. Some of them are only able to complete SHS due to certain limitation­s like lack of financial resources. There should be opportunit­ies given to them to allow them to go up the educationa­l ladder and at the same time the work ladder.

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