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Bake the world record

/ 01:34 AM October 30, 2015

PARENTS out there should be ecstatic and proud that tens of thousands of students belonging to the first batch of the two-year additional “senior high school (SHS)” in the K to 12 program would want to take up “bakery and pastry manufacturing.”

To prepare for the new education system, the DepEd conducted a survey among incoming SHS students, particularly those who would want to try the technology-vocation-livelihood track.

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Surprise! Among the hundreds of thousands of incoming SHS students in tech-voc, some 60 percent said they would want to take up “bakery and pastry manufacturing.”

Again, boss, that would be six out of every 10 students. Wow, it could be another world record for this country in the Guinness!

Just precisely how “bakery and pastry manufacturing,” as their life coach and job training, would get our youth started in life? Did our youth think that this country could corner and monopolize the entire world bread and pastry market?

We do not even eat bread. Studies even show Filipinos still prefer rice for breakfast.

Boss, our farmlands could not even produce the wheat that would be made into flour that would be made into bread and pastries.

The business sector is alarmed: How would Philippine industries get the skilled employees promised them by the K to 12?

Fearing trouble in the first year of the new education program, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) volunteered to help the DepEd and other government agencies involved in the tech-voc track.

They recently started a program called “skill mapping” to identify the manpower needs of enterprises in specific areas all over the country in the next five years. Public schools could then match these with their tech-voc courses.

PCCI also launched an awareness campaign among public school teachers, parents and even students on the many possibilities for the tech-voc track—other things out there, and not just bakery and pastry manufacturing!

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The DepEd said the SHS students would also have to undergo “immersion,” such as in “earn-while-you-learn” courses, for instance, through some 80 hours of actual training.

Still, there remains a ticklish issue about the tech-voc track.

From what I gathered, the DepEd is already resigned to the fact that public schools would need more time to prepare for the tech-voc programs. To resolve this issue, the administration is planning to provide students with funds to go to other tech-voc schools—a program similar to the CCT system.

Transfer of BPOs

The last time I checked, the department was readying a budget of P22,000 to P24,000 per tech-voc student per semester for the school year 2016-17.

This would ultimately mean the program would eat into the enrollment ratio of other schools. Big universities are also now complaining.

To match the trend among factories and BPOs transferring their operations outside urban centers, the government is planning to put up road networks and train systems such as in the Calabarzon area.

Well and good, boss, but those projects have not taken off. They remain on the list of “dream” projects under the Aquino (Part II) administration.

In the meantime, real estate developers are revising their expansion plans to take into consideration the lack of infrastructure.

One example is Property Company of Friends (Pro-Friends). In the past 16 years or so, the company has completed 17 low-and middle-income housing projects, including a condominium complex in Quezon City that it said would be ready for turnover this year.

From what I gathered, the company also started about eight years ago a huge development project covering three towns in Cavite—the 1,107-hectare Lancaster New City.

The company marketed the project as a self-sustaining development because, aside from housing and commercial areas, it would have industrial parks as well, which precisely jived with the relocation trend among BPOs and factories.

Another come-on is the area’s proximity to the workplace in the fast developing towns of Cavite.

Pro-Friends also said its Lancaster project would soon open its industrial area called “Suntech iPark,” expecting the influx of BPOs and light industries into the project.

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TAGS: baking, bpo, call center, curriculum, Education, K to 12, Livelihood, Pastry, Program, senior high school, vocational
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