To help boost the employability of senior high school graduates who took the technical-vocational-
livelihood (TVL) track, Senator Win Gatchalian proposes the allocation of funding for their certifications under the 2024 national budget.
Gatchalian estimates that about P1.52 billion is needed to certify around 400,000 TVL learners. The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education emphasized that these certifications would make a huge difference in terms of helping TVL graduates get a job, and address what he previously called a dead end for senior high school graduates.
The lawmaker pointed to the low certification rate among senior high school graduates who took the TVL track. Out of the 486, 278 senior high school graduates who took the TVL track for School Year (SY) 2019-2020, only 127,796 took the national certification and 124,970 passed. The passing rate among those who took the national certification was 97.8%, but the certification rate among TVL graduates for that school year was only 25.7%.
The certification rate was even lower for SY 2020-2021 with 473,911 total TVL graduates. For this school year, 32,965 took the national certification, and 31,993 or 97.1% passed the national certification. The certification rate, however, was only 6.8%.
During previous hearings by the Senate’s basic education panel, the Department of Education (DepEd) identified cost as a barrier for students seeking to obtain their certifications.
“Kung mapopondohan natin ang certification ng mga senior high school graduates sa ilalim ng TVL track, matutulungan natin silang magkaroon ng maayos na trabaho, kagaya ng ipinangako ng programang K to 12,” the senator said.
Under the Batang Magaling Act (Senate Bill No. 2367), Gatchalian is proposing that the DepEd, in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), shall provide, free of charge, the national competency assessments to DepEd senior high school graduates. Senior graduates who pass these assessments shall be awarded the appropriate National Certificates (NCs) as an official recognition of their skills and competencies, aligning with TESDA’s established standards.
The Batang Magaling Act seeks the creation of the National and Local Batang Magaling Councils to strengthen the linkages and collaboration among the DepEd, local government units, academic communities, and industry partners to address the mismatch between the skills of K to 12 graduates and the demands of the labor market.