Another first for the Aquino III administration
Institutionalization of Philippine Qualifications Framework addresses structural unemployment, promote equity on work opportunity
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the recent adoption by the government of the Philippine National Qualifications Framework, a first in the history of labor and employment, assures that Filipino workers can now be smoothly mainstreamed into the international labor market.
“I am highly confident that its implementation will contribute big to matching workers’ skills with industry needs and in facilitating life-long learning,” she said in describing the framework.
“The changes and developments in work patterns and skills demand in various industries, including emerging ones, show just how much the country needs to adopt a truly rationalized and harmonized education system,” she added.
According to Baldoz, the PNFQ isa unified, seamless, and borderless education and training system thatcan prepare an individual for productive employment. In addition, it can boost the national and international confidence among our workers because of the quality of teaching, assessment, and the valid awarding of officially recognized qualifications in the country,” she explained.
On 1 October, President Benigno S. Aquino III issued and signed Executive Order No. 83, otherwise known as “Institutionalization of the Philippine National Qualifications Framework.”
Section 1 of the E.O. 83 provides that the PNQF will have the following purposes: (a) to establish national standards and levels for outcomes of education and training, skills and competencies; (b) to promote quality by ensuring standards are met by education and training providers or authorities who issue qualifications; (c) to facilitate comparison among levels and contents of qualifications; and (d) to promote access to learning and transfers to higher levels of education and training by clarifying the entry points to qualifications.
Generally, the PNFQ weaves together basic education, technical-vocational education, and higher education into one coherent, quality-assured instrument for classifying qualifications according to a set of criteria for levels of learning outcomes.
Baldoz said that as designed in the framework, any high school graduate, especially those who cannot afford to enrol in a bachelor’s degree program, may now enrol in any certificate program offered principally in technical vocational institutions (TVIs) and still be at par with the rest.
“Technical-vocational courses are skill-focused and work-related; thus, one will more likely be able to start working sooner, acquire the experience needed, and get the opportunity to land in high-paying careers available in the labor market,” she added.
Citing a recent report of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the labor and employment chief bared that a total of 1,274,904 technical-vocational education and training (TVET) graduates were produced this year. Such figure represents a 94.8 percent accomplishment over the 2012 target of 1.344 million.
Meanwhile, a total of 17,380 officers and ratings graduatedfrom various maritime training courses in compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers. This is 84.8 percent accomplishment of the 20,495 target output for the year.
On the other hand, a total of 702,446 out of the 821,288 workers who have been assessed hurdled the assessment, ensuring that they have the necessary competence to perform the tasks consist with the required standards in the workplace. This places the TESDA certification success rate at 85.5 percent.
“With these accomplishments, it could only be just a matter of time that we develop the 21st century skilled Filipino workforce who are technically competent, innovative, and creative, and who have higher order thinking skills, possess foundational life skills in pursuit of life-long learning opportunities, and keep desirable work attitude and behavior,” Baldoz said.
To ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the PNQF and to provide a regular feedback on its progress and accomplishments to the Office of the President, a national coordinating committee (NCC) shall be created to be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Education with the following as members: (a) TESDA; (b) Commission on Higher Education; (c) DOLE; and (d) Professional Regulations Commission.
The adoption of the PNQF is in accordance with the overarching goal of President Benigno S. Aquino III in his 22-point labor and employment agenda which is to invest in the country’s top resource, the human resource, to make it more competitive and employable while promoting industrial peace based on social justice.