The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business group in the country, expressed support on government’s move to rally the business community in crafting the mandate for the K-12 Program of the Aquino administration.
K-12 or kinder to twelfth grade is part of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s proposed educational reforms which shifts Philippine basic education system to twelve years plus kinder from the current 10 years. The Philippines together with Myanmar are the only two remaining countries with a basic education system of less than 11 years.
PCCI President Dr. Francis Chua have always insisted that for the Philippines to compete globally, 12 years of basic education is an absolute necessity.
PCCI Honorary Chairman and current ECOP president Edgardo G. Lacson underscored the importance of a strategy-oriented and competency-based basic education curriculum as a key to making our graduates globally acceptable and competitive.
“The Department of Education’s proposed K-6-4-2 model is a positive step to uplifting the standard of education. I believe that 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,” he added.
Donald Dee, Vice Chairman of PCCI and former member of the Presidential Task Force for Education, noted the need to support the K-12 program with adequate educational infrastructure which include more classrooms, reading materials and improved quality of teaching personnel to develop the technical skills of the students that will enable them land in jobs that match their technical and educational background.
Bridging the gap between academe and industry to reduce unemployment has been one of the major advocacies of PCCI. PCCI’s think-tank, the Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade or U-ACT, in partnership with the International Labor Organization released a study on employment mismatch which underscored the need to develop competency-based curriculum programs that will match the technical skills of graduates with the requirements of the industry. The same study noted the need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the proposed 12-year basic education track.
PCCI’s policy discourse on the K-12 program forms part of the broader set of Resolutions that will be presented during the 36th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E). President Aquino is expected to receive and give his reaction to these Resolutions.
The PBC&E is the biggest annual gathering of businessmen in the Philippines to dialogue with government and other stakeholders on key policy issues that affect the country’s state of business and economy. This year’s PBC&E would be held on October 13 to 15 at the historic Manila Hotel and is expected to draw around 2,000 participants from PCCI’s network of local chambers, industry associations and foreign business councils.(PNA)