Schools and companies should stop the practice of letting on-the-job students pay for their training, according to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s appointee to the education portfolio.
Prof. Leonor Briones, a former national treasurer, said interns should be paid by firms that use their labor. Briones, a long-time activist, pointed out that earning income while honing their craft would ease the burdens of families facing two additional years of tuition and other costs under the K-12 program.
The K-12 track for technical and vocational education includes on the job training in the 11th and 12th grade to improve graduates’ absorption into the workforce. If the paid OJT proposal is implemented, it would need the involvement of both the Departments of Education and Labor and Employment, Briones said.
Briones, however, said the incoming administration would monitor the situation before making the decision to continue, suspend, or abolish the K-12 program. The Supreme Court earlier junked six separate pleas to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on K-12, freeing the outgoing administration of President Benigno Aquino III to implement the program on June 13.
Compulsory kindergarten was implemented in 2012. The following year, President Benigno Aquino signed into law the Enhanced Basic Education Act, which mandated the addition of grades 11 and 12 to meet with international standards.
Militant organizations oppose K-12 on grounds that it allegedly strengthens the country’s labor-export policies, leads to displacement of teachers, and cause more dropouts of students from poor families.
The Association of Concerned Teachers (ACT), which wants a full turnaround on K-12, noted four years ago at the start of the kindergarten program that longer years cannot create better students with schools bursting at their seams.
The government acknowledged a shortage of 50,000 classrooms but it refused to delay the K-12 program until resolution of infrastructure and poor teacher-student and book-student ratios.
source: ABS CBN NEWS