/ 20 February 2021

THE HOUSE Committee on Basic Education and Culture has approved a measure seeking to create a network of Meister or master-craftsmen schools in the country.

During a virtual hearing, the committee chaired by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo agreed to endorse to the plenary House Bill 6287 or the proposed Meister Schools Act authored by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda.

Salceda explained that the bill would create specialized senior high schools that would teach highly technical skills compatible with the manufacturing and other high-value industries.

The lawmaker said that creating Meister schools would help bridge the country’s skills gap and reduce youth unemployment.

The bill is modeled after technical-vocational schools in Korea that produce meisters or master-craftsmen.

“In Korea, the effect that Meister schools had were dramatic: 85 percent placement of first batch or generation, of those who signed employment contracts. In the first two years of implementation, the employment rate of vocational high school graduates increased from 19 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2012,” Salceda said.

The measure mandates the establishment of one Meister School in every region and each highly urbanized city, which would be funded like a national high school.

The Meister Schools would implement an enhanced two years senior high school education program, integrated with a special curriculum on technical-vocational courses that would provide quality education to students.

The establishment of a Meister School would be based on the growth potential and consistent high enrollment and inventory data.

These schools must have adequate state-of-the-art facilities that will cater to the specific specialization needs of learners. They should also have strong partnership and linkage with companies and other employers within the region or highly urbanized city.