WE reaffirm our support for the training and employment of K-12 graduates and the youth. As we end another school year, these young graduates will be entering the workforce under a much more uncertain labor market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The March 2021 Jobs Report shows that as the economy is gradually reopening and more businesses are operating, more people are entering and participating in the workforce. While this is encouraging, we need to ensure that recent graduates and young entrants to the workforce do not get crowded out.
We call on the government to ensure that the students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to join the workforce. The National Employment Recovery Strategy 2021-2022 currently being developed should make skills training and education a centerpiece of the strategy. Collaborative partnerships with the private sector in the areas of work-based training and employability should be enabled and incentivized.
To promote national growth and competitiveness, the government should ensure the learning continuity of our students. A clear and immediate action plan should be in place to stem the looming learning crisis. There should be a plan to safely resume face-to-face classes to address the issue on access and inequality among our learners. Around 3 million students have dropped out last year as they were unable to keep up with online classes. Latest international assessments of science, mathematics and reading competencies in previous years also showed an alarming decline in the academic performance of Filipino students.
Now, more than ever, we need to support our youth by guaranteeing their education and boosting their employability in the future that they can look forward to.
(Marie Adelle Bantamabanta@pbed.ph /Communications Manager, PBEd)
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