1.3 M students part of first batch of K to 12 graduates

  • A total of 1.25 M pioneer batch of SHS students are expected to graduate this year
  • 61% of these graduates have taken the Academic Track while 39% have finished Tech-Voc. Track
  • According to DepEd Sec. Briones and Chamber of Commerce Pres. Yulo, these graduating students have a huge possibility to land a job after SHS

In 2016, the Department of Education implemented the K-12 Program in the country. Now, a total of around 1,252,357 Grade 12 Senior High School students (SHS) are expected to graduate soon.

In January 2018, DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali emphasized that K-12 has been established in close coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) at Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). With this, he concluded that it could already be considered as a complete training for those students who would like to work already after SHS should they decide not to pursue college after graduating.

Although these graduates are said to be professionally-ready, Thomas Nicanor, Argent Estacio, and Zarica Capua, SHS students interviewed by GMA News said that they won’t look for a job yet after graduation. They believe that job competition is stiff. Thus, they must further advance to college. According to these graduating students, if college graduates still find it hard to land a good job, then it would definitely be more difficult for SHS students who do not even have a degree yet.

The two years additional has specialized training for students in the field such as Information Technology, Accountancy, Business and Management, Technical Vocational Livelihood, Humanities and Social Sciences, among others.

On the other hand, Education Secretary Leonor Briones believes that many SHS graduates will be able to land jobs already. She further explained that there is a huge possibility that the companies, where these first K-12 graduates had their on-the-job training, would hire them because they have been oriented about their processes during their immersion. They would probably prefer to hire them than to train new people.

According to Jose Luis Yulo Jr., president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, there are indeed several job opportunities awaiting the first batch of K to 12 graduates especially those who have finished Tech-Voc track. For Yulo, college graduates might find it more difficult to hunt for a job in the country since we need more technology-adept graduate students.

However, Yulo mentioned that he is not discouraging SHS learners to advance to tertiary level since “the higher the education, the better”, he said.

In a DepEd report, the total number of Academic Track pupils is 766,000. This means that 61% of the these learners took courses related to Accountancy, Business Management, Humanities and Social Science, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. On the other hand, 39% of SHS graduates took the Technical Vocational Livelihood track, Arts and Design track, and Sports track.