/ 6 July 2022

SENATOR Joel Villanueva pushed for the integration of labor education in the Senior High School curriculum.

This is one of his top 20 bills in the 19th Congress.

In filing the bill, Villanueva explained that one of the objectives of the K to 12 program is to prepare students to work or engage in business if they don’t want to pursue higher education.

Labor education is explained in the measure as the teaching of theories, concepts and issues concerning labor, such as but not limited to labor rights, dignity, economic welfare and political participation.

According to the Asian Development Bank Youth Education Investment and Labor Market Outcomes, 15 percent of Senior High School  graduates or approximately 187,000 graduates are inclined to look for employment  or to engage in business immediately after graduating from SHS.

“At present, the Department of Education is working towards this goal of ensuring SHS graduates are employment-ready by providing students opportunities to specialize outside academic-related tracks,” Villanueva said.

“However, molding the youth into productive members of the labor force is not limited to skills training alone. While DepEd currently implements SHS career guidance programs and other career guidance or counseling programs, none of them provides comprehensive focus on labor education,” he added.

Moreover, the senator stressed, most of them are only offered to Grade 10 to Grade 11 students and are geared towards assisting them with their choice of SHS track, university course and career.

“In light of the inadequacy of the Filipinos’ knowledge of their labor rights and in recognition of the prevalence of Filipinos having only secondary education, the government has to strive to make every Filipino worker aware of his or her labor rights,” Villanueva said.