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City, MNCCI open K-12 education summit

NAGA City Mayor John Bongat, President Gilbert Albero of the Metro Naga Chamber of and Industry (MNCCI), and Schools Division Superintendent William Gando of the DepEd Naga City Division Office Wednesday morning formally opened the Education Fair, another highlight activity of the ongoing Bicol Business Month, at the SM City Activity Center here.

The trio, along with MNCCI directors, Division school officials, City Councilor Nathan Sergio, teachers and students, witnessed the opening of the exhibits by participating schools and other supportive private companies.

Mayor Bongat lauded the school officials, well as the MNCCI, for taking the initiative in putting in the forefront the government’s K-12 and TVET programs. He said education is the foundation of good business and that the two must complement each other in plotting the country’s future by preparing the youth with proper knowledge and skills for them to become dynamic players in nation building.

Supt. Gando said the occasion was very timely as the DepEd itself had encouraged them to come into partnership with the business sector in pushing the K-12 and TVET programs.

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

The morning program was followed by the Education Summit that opened at 1:30 p.m. at the Avenue Convention Plaza.

DepEd Regional Director Ramon Abcede spoke on the K-12 Senior High School Program.

Senior High School, after four years of junior high school, is two more ears of specialized upper secondary education; students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. SHS subjects fall under either the Core Curriculum or specific Tracks.

Core Curriculum
There are 7 Learning Areas under the Core Curriculum. These are Languages, Literature, Communication, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Current content from some General Education subjects are embedded in the SHS curriculum.

Tracks
Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Students undergo immersion, which may include earn-while-you-learn opportunities, to provide them relevant exposure and actual experience in their chosen track. In this regard, businesses and business establishments play a key part as they ‘adopt’ students for immersion in their workplaces.

TVET (Technical Vocational Education & Training) National Certificate
After finishing Grade 10, a student can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or a National Certificate Level I (NC I). After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

NC I and NC II improves employability of graduates in fields like Agriculture, Electronics, and Trade.

Albero said the “specialization” training that would be incorporated in the last two years of high school would greatly increase the competencies and skills of the students, thus making them more employable after graduation.

“The importance of a strategy-oriented and competency-based basic education curriculum is key to making our graduates globally acceptable and competitive,” he added.
The summit also featured a presentation of Dual Training Program of K-12 and the ‘Adopt a School’ Program by local business and the incentives that may be availed from it.

Dual training refers to the combination of practical, on-the-job, enterprise-based training and theoretical education in school, to balance theory and practice.