The next DepEd chief claimed that companies who are accepting interns should start paying them and not the other way around.
Prof. Leonor Briones, a former national treasurer and the chosen secretary for education, said that schools and companies alike should not let on-the-job students pay for their training. Instead, she argued that the firms should pay the interns for their hard work and output as this would not only motivate them to do good in the training but also help ease the burdens of families.
Briones also admitted that the K-12 has provided tough challenges for the teachers, the students, the families, and the government as a whole.
“A few years ago, nakita na ang high drop out rate ng mga bata, kasi by the age of 15-17, youth drop out of school (A few years ago, the high drop out rate was apparent),” said Briones.
"They go work in the farms and agriculture firms. In cities, they are on streets, doing anything to earn a living,” added Briones.
Being the founder of Social Watch, an advocacy group focused on pushing for government budgets responsive to the country’s urgent needs, Briones is very much aware of the situation in this particular sector.
"So the suggestion at that time was, say, in agriculture, that they get paid while doing agriculture training. The same if they are in manufacturing. The practice now is, the students pay for that training,” she said. “I think it is a sound idea and could help ease the burden of parents."
However, this proposal can only be made possible through the partnership and close work by the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Employment.
Meaning to say, this would not take effect immediately especially that they would still have to monitor and record the situation with regard to the K-12 program.
The K-12 program provides two additional years for students. These years are spent for technical and vocational education and includes on-the-job training. The goal of these two additional years is to help improve graduates’ absorption into the workforce and hone their work skills.
The K-12 was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino in 2013. The law is called the Enhanced Basic Education Act and mandates the addition of grades 11 and 12 to meet with international standards.
Despite the lack of classrooms and the number of petitions to postpone the implementation of the program, the government refused to delay the K-12 program.