SM, Berjaya execs to PH: Focus on vocational training than K to 12
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has been advocating reforms in basic education, with the government's emphasis on extending the country’s 10-year pre-university cycle to 12 years, also known as the K to 12 program.
But for SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) Vice-Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson, instead of pushing for K to 12, the Philippines should strengthen vocational training, which can “open doors to an endless array of careers."
"The Philippines is still a developing country and unfortunately, the poverty level is still high. As a result, not many people can afford to pay for university education," Sy-Coson, who was one of the Forbes Global CEO Conference 2015 speakers, said during a panel interview Tuesday, October 13.
For the chairman of BDO Unibank, Incorporated, vocational schools will further improve people’s skills, allowing them to qualify and work in industries here and abroad such as in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
"For a country like ours, we need more vocational schools. We need labor, and we need that for economic growth. I don’t think we're in dire need of special skills at this point," Sy-Coson said during the forum. (READ: Steve Forbes: PH needs tax reform to sustain economic stability)
Vocational schools provides practical training with a few unrelated academic course requirements. These schools also offer programs with a duration of 10 weeks to two years. (READ: Geox founder: Be unique, protect your ideas)
During the forum, Malaysia-based Berjaya Corporation Founder Vincent Tan agreed with Sy-Coson, saying "every country should have a lot of vocational schools."
"Vocational training can produce skilled workers such as mechanics, electricians, hotel, and BPO industry employees," he added. – Rappler.com