Curriculum mismatch and employability of graduates PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:36

By PRETHIE GIRL TAN

 

The Philippine economy and the Philippine educational system are not in tandem in its bid to be progressive in both fields. The Filipinos are hardworking but not always given the right opportunities to put their energy into production. The annual graduates in high school and college keep pouring into the mainstream of Filipino idle manpower, the semi-skilled, skilled and professionals. This is unfortunate because so much manpower is wasted in the passage of time and economically these people are a burden to the economy of the country.

With a population of nearly 100 million growing at 2%, the Philippine economy needs to create many more jobs, as well as better quality jobs, than it has been doing. The size of the labor force as of July 2010 was 39 million, out of an estimated 61 million population aged 15 years and over. Of this total, some 36 million persons were employed. The unemployment rate stood at 6.9 percent, representing 2.7 million persons, and the underemployment rate was 17.9 percent, representing 6.5 million persons. Over nine million Filipinos would like to work more or would like to have some work, either full or part ( time http://www.sunstar.com.ph/weekend-davao/2014/03/29/jobs-mismatch-still-reality-335594)

In the highly-competitive labor market, getting a degree is no longer an assurance to landing a job, especially with high rates of unemployment and underemployment staining the economic landscape. While thousands of jobs are being generated to mitigate this problem, there is a parallel issue in the form of a mismatch between business demands and existing talent pool. Pursuing a particular course in college becomes a futile exercise for the student and brings about an oversupply of talents to a certain profession.( Alvin Ng, economist at University of Santo Tomas) “It (jobs mismatch) contributes major to the unemployment problem, if the industries could not hire the students because the skills that they need really are not with the students or graduates. There’s really a ballooning problem of unemployment,” he added. The implementation of the K to 12 is also seen to improve labor force, what with the inclusion of two years in high school that seeks to expose students in vocational course According to the January 2014 Labor Force Survey, the Philippines registered an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, while underemployment was pegged at 19.5 percent. The Global Employment Trends report of the International Labor Organization published in 2014 also revealed that the Philippines registered an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in 2013, the highest unemployment rate among members the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN. The foregoing information point to the undeniable situation that indeed there is a mismatch in the courses offered in higher education and the demands of the industries in the Philippines. This condition must be seriously considered by our educational planners at the Department of Education and our lawmakers and economists. The mindsets of Filipinos must also be directed to realities in the flow of human activities like education, knowledge and skills which must be the qualifications for employability locally and abroad.

Recommendation In the light of the foregoing circumstances and developments concerning the mismatch in the curriculum and employability or job requirements, the following are recommended: 1. There must be updated feedback program in the DepEd that will serve as the database for continuing studies and research on the approaches to correct the mismatch noted. 2. The government must have a comprehensive economic development program that is in coordination with the business and labor sectors to facilitate employability. 3. Industries must be regulated to cater to the curriculum that are offered in higher education to minimize and ultimately eliminate the mismatch. 4. The K-12 curriculum must be constantly upgraded to be able to connect effectively to the needed match in skills and knowledge in various employable technical and vocational fields in the labor force. 5. The government economic development programs must take into consideration the educational curriculum that would match the industries to be opened by the different agencies of the government, local and national.