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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Proposed law aims to help high school graduates land jobs easily

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A Congress leader has pushed for the passage of a bill aiming to boost the qualifications and competitiveness of senior high school (SHS) students when they finish the K to 12 basic curriculum through.

Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar said her House Bill 9808, or the proposed “Batang Magaling” Act, would guarantee that SHS graduates have the necessary knowledge, training, and skills that would help them land jobs after graduation.

“This bill seeks to reinforce the K to 12 program objective by ensuring that SHS graduates are equipped with the knowledge, training, and skills demanded in the labor market, whether they have chosen the higher education, middle-level skills development, employment, or entrepreneurship exit, thereby enhancing their employability and competitiveness in the workforce,” Villar said.

The measure proposes the creation of Batang Magaling National and Local Councils to “serve as mechanisms for active collaboration and meaningful communication for the provision of information to the education institutions for the updating and alignment of the curricular offerings and the work immersion component of the SHS program with the market needs as identified by industry partners and government agencies.”

The Batang Magaling National Council shall be composed of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), three national industry partners, one national labor group, and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

The Local Batang Magaling Councils will be formed at the provincial, city, and municipal levels. It shall be composed of the provincial, city or municipal local school boards, the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), at least two industry partners in the locality, a representative of the TESDA provincial office, and a local employee organization or association.

The local councils are mandated under the proposed bill to conduct labor market demand studies every three years, the results of which shall serve as basis for the improvement of the work immersion component of the SHS program and for the creation of the Batang Magaling roadmap, which is aimed at aligning the tracks and strands of the K to 12 Basic Education curriculum under RA 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

The local councils are likewise tasked to increase awareness and commitment of industry partners and government agencies to accept students in Work Immersion Programs (WIPs), ensure that their deployment is done according to their tracks or specialization courses, and enable them to acquire specialized skills and competencies to advance in their chosen path.

Educational institutions offering the SHS program are also required to offer WIPs that would help develop the students’ competencies, skills, work ethics and values relevant to pursuing further education or joining the workforce.

Also under Villar’s proposal, the DepEd and the DOLE shall develop and maintain a centralized nationwide database of skills information to serve as one-stop shop for all matters related to the employment of SHS graduates.

The DOLE and the DepEd are likewise directed to conduct studies and research for the crafting of strategies and guidelines to minimize the impediments to SHS employment and promote the affirmative hiring of the graduates.

The DepEd, in collaboration with the Batang Magaling National Council, are also enjoined to conduct a mandatory review of the proposed law’s implementation and submit its assessment report to Congress not later than two years after the effectivity of the measure and every two years after that.

“The government must make sure that SHS students are ready for employment when they finish the K to 12 program. It is imperative that we arm them the commensurate knowledge and skills that would make them employable and competitive. This proposed bill is aimed at doing exactly that,” Villar said.

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