Youth activists condemned a proposal issued last week by the largest business group in the country to amend the curriculum of the K to 12 program of the Education department which pertains to the required number of hours of on-the job training a Grade 12 student must fulfill to graduate from Senior High School.
Under the proposal of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the on-the-job training manhour requirements for Senior High students must be increased from eighty to eight hundred, allegedly to make them “work-ready” upon graduation.
In an emailed statement, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) sharply criticized the business group, calling their proposal “ an outright attempt to siphon more free labor from K to 12 students for them to profit from”.
Back in 2015, the PCCI collaborated with the DepEd in initiating the intergration of dual training program in the K to 12 curriculum to address gripes of the business sector – graduates of our education system are not in tune with the skills required by industries.
“The PCCI were part of those who formulated the internship program for their member-companies to benefit from and now, they want to expand it more and turn students to slaves,” the group alleged.
“Despite being on its pilot stage and has not yet produced graduates, the PCCI is aggressively engaged in conditioning the public to claim that the present OJT program is insufficient”.
“Such a proposal would only make the job market more competitive, wages more depressing and will rationalize other unjust employment practices such as casualization and contractualization, Spark argued.
Critical of the K -12 program, the activists believes that the PCCI proposal proves “that the K to 12 law is a deed of sale between the big capitalist corporations and the government, treating K to 12 graduates as mere commodities for capital acquisition. This exploitative scheme is a blatant dehumanization of the students which reduces their labor as mere capital”.
They claim that such propasal is additional proof that the educational system in the country remains to be “commercialized, neoliberal, and exploitative in nature”.###
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