Pia aims to make senior high graduates job-ready

If elected to a new term in the Senate, House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano said she would prioritize the evaluation of the country’s Senior High School (SHS) system to gauge whether the program has met the objective of making K-12 graduates job-ready. 

“Sa larangan ng edukasyon, ang bibigyan ko ng prayoridad ay ang Senior High School program. Nagpa-graduate na tayo ng first batch ng Senior High Schools last year. Sa dalawang taon na kinuha natin sa buhay nila, ano bang mga skills ang natutunan nila?” Cayetano asked in a radio interview on Tuesday. 

The youth and education advocate said that if given the chance to serve at the Upper Chamber, she would file a Senate resolution seeking to evaluate the implementation of the country’s K-12 Education Program, particularly the SHS programs in both public and private schools across the country. 

To recall, the K-12 system aims, among others, to make senior high graduates job-ready or equipped with basic entrepreneurial skills. 
A study conducted in 2018 by the Philippine Business for Education however showed that only 20 percent of the 70 leading companies in the country are open to hiring SHS graduates.

Meanwhile, a separate study by JobStreet last year revealed that only 24 percent of employers using its website are ready to hire SHS graduates for entry level positions.

“In fact, naka-draft na ang resolution. Ifa-file ko ito agad dahil gusto ko magkaroon ng immediate feedback sa lawmakers sa kung ano ba ang nangyari, kung job-ready ba itong mga bata,” Cayetano shared.

The congresswoman recognized the need to further improve the country’s education system to better fit the demands of hiring industries, as well as to address the job and skills mismatch among Filipino graduates. 

“May nagsasabi talaga sa side ng government at ng private sector na may demand, pero hindi raw nafi-fill. Kulang daw talaga ang mga skilled workers,” Cayetano lamented. 

The senatorial aspirant then proposed to develop a human resource database for senior high and college graduates in the country in order to improve the government’s strategies in meeting the human resource needs of particular booming industries.

Cayetano, who formerly chaired the Senate Committee on Education, is also pushing for the improvement of Filipino youths’ English proficiency to make them more globally competitive. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano discusses her advocacies with youth leaders in Pampanga on Tuesday, including her call to strengthen the country’s Senior High School program to make graduates job-ready.

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