Higher education institution participants reach 878
DOLE completes regional consultations on K to 12

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the DOLE has already completed its regional consultations relative to the inter-agency Action Plan on the implementation of the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum, more popularly known as the K to 12 Program, or R. A. 10533.

Signed into law on 15 May 2013, the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum Law, is one of the reforms of the Aquino III administration to address the issue of jobs-skills mismatch.

“I am pleased to inform our people that all DOLE regional offices have already conducted consultations on the K to 12 Program and the Action Plan for its implementation,” said Baldoz.

“A total of 617 representatives of teaching and non-teaching personnel and 837 management representatives from 878 higher education institutions (HEIs) participated in these consultations,” she explained.

Baldoz said the Education/Academe Industry Tripartite Councils (EITCs) joined the DOLE in spearheading these consultations, aimed at updating stakeholders on the K to 12 Program, as well at soliciting their inputs on the Action Plan relative to its implementation.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) participated in the consultations which also sought to formulate a common and unified position when the Congress conducts public hearings on the K to 12 at the last week of October this year.

To prepare for the public hearings, the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor Relations under Director Benjo Benavidez consolidated the inputs to the inter-agency Action Plan gathered during the consultations.

Some of the inputs were in the form of agreements, such as the conduct by the DOLE, DepEd, and CHED of continuous information dissemination among HEIs, students, and parents to really inculcate to them relevant information on the K to 12.

“The stakeholders agreed that the information dissemination on the K to 12 Program should be massive and extensive using various forms of media,” said Baldoz.

The stakeholders also agreed to further clarify the proposal that the Transition Fund should be on top of the E-GASTPE vouchers being granted by the DepEd and that this should only be granted to HEIs that are accredited by the CHED to promote and encourage institutions to upgrade their quality of education,” Baldoz added.

On the part of the DepEd, Baldoz said the DepEd is already on track on its mapping of education institutions, with the first map of HEIs, technical-vocational institutions (TVIs), and basic education institutions (BEIs) that will offer senior high school almost complete.

“The DepEd reported that its second map of HEIs, TVIs, and BEIs that will actually offer senior high school with corresponding slots and tracks will be completed by December. This is so because majority of education institutions have yet to decide whether or not they will offer senior high school come 2016,” Baldoz said.

On the other hand, the TESDA, whose task is to conduct a survey or data gathering required in the development of the Transition Plan, is awaiting for the mapping of the DepEd before it can disseminate the survey forms.

Baldoz also reported that the consultations resulted to the drafting of a memorandum of agreement with the Social Security System on the moratorium on payment of laons and/or condonation of interest for those teaching and non-teaching personnel who will be affected by the K to 12 Program.

“This MOA has already been reviewed by the SSS Legal Department. It will be signed when the Guidelines being developed by the SSS Membership Loans Department has been approved by the Social Security Commission,” Baldoz said further.

“A similar MOA with the Government Service Insurance System for employees of State Universities and Colleges that will be affected by the K to 12 Program is also being proposed,” she finally said.

END

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