Strategies to boost the employability of senior high school (SHS) graduates will be among the outputs of the K to 12 program review, Senator Win Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, made this statement as Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Duterte urged the private sector to consider hiring more K to 12 graduates. Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual made a similar call last September.
While the Enhanced Basic Education Act (Republic Act No. 10533) or the K to 12 Law promised to make SHS graduates employable, Gatchalian pointed out that only a small percentage of these graduates enter the labor force. According to a 2020 discussion paper by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), only a little over 20% of SHS graduates join the labor force while more than 70% continue with their education.
The same study by the PIDS further pointed out that Grade 12 completers do not show better labor outcomes compared to Grade 10 completers. Similarly, those who finished second year college do not show superior labor market outcomes compared to SHS graduates.
“Sa gagawin nating pag-aaral ng K to 12, tututukan natin kung paano natin matutupad ang pangakong trabaho para sa mga graduate ng senior high school. Kailangang maramdaman ng ating mga magulang na hindi lamang dagdag gastos, kundi may totoong benepisyo ang dagdag na dalawang taon sa high school,” said Gatchalian.
Last July, Gatchalian filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 5, which seeks a Senate inquiry on the status of the implementation of the K to 12 Law. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Gatchalian will also serve as co-chairperson of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II).
The EDCOM II was created by Republic Act No. 11899, which Gatchalian sponsored during the 18th Congress, to undertake a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the Philippine education sector’s performance. The national assessment will recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to make the Philippines globally competitive in both education and labor markets.