Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a bill to help address the mismatch between the skills of K to 12 graduates and the demands of the labor market.
Under the Batang Magaling Act (Senate Bill No. 2022), Gatchalian proposes the creation of the National and Local Batang Magaling Councils to strengthen the linkages and collaboration among the Department of Education (DepEd), the local government units, the academic communities, and industry partners.
The National Council, which will align the tracks and strands of the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, shall be composed of the DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), three national industry partners, one national labor group, and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.
The Local Councils, on the other hand, shall be composed at the provincial, city and municipal levels to ensure that K to 12 senior high school (SHS) graduates are equipped with education, training, and skills demanded by the industry partners. The provincial, city or municipal local school boards (LSBs), at least two industry partners, a representative of the TESDA provincial office, and a local employee organization or association shall comprise the Local Council.
A local Batang Magaling Roadmap shall be developed at the municipal, city, and provincial levels to introduce interventions and set measurable goals on enhancing the employability and competitiveness of SHS graduates. The local roadmap shall include the skills demanded by industry partners in the locality vis-à-vis the needed knowledge, training, and skills of K to 12 SHS graduates.
The proposed measure also provides that Work Immersion Programs (WIP) for SHS learners shall be based on the Batang Magaling Roadmap. To align the WIP with market demand, the Councils are mandated to conduct labor market demand studies every three years.
The DepEd, in collaboration with the National and Local Councils, shall also develop, maintain, and update a centralized nationwide database of skills information to serve as one-stop shop for all matters related to the employment of K to 12 SHS graduates.
To encourage industry partners to employ K to 12 SHS graduates, the bill proposes to allow an additional item of deduction from their taxable income of the full value of training expenses incurred for the skills development of such graduates hired pursuant to this measure.
“Kung maisasabatas natin ang Batang Magaling Act, matitiyak natin ang kahandaan ng ating mga kabataan upang makapasok sila sa trabaho na batay sa kanilang galing at kasanayan. Matitiyak din natin na katuwang natin ang pribadong sektor upang mabigyan ng trabaho ang ating mga senior high school graduates, tulad ng layunin ng programang K to 12,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.