Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic andDevelopment Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ralph G. Recto said in apress briefing today that there is a need to prepare Filipinos aged 15 to21 years old—the most unemployed sector of the economy—for the globalrebound through education and retraining.
“The biggest unemployed sector in the country is from that agebracket of 15-21 [years old]. They should not be out looking for jobs. Sothe challenge also is to get them back to school—either in colleges oruniversities or in technical-vocational schools. The idea is to trainthem, equip them with skills so when the global rebound comes, it is easierfor them to get a job,” he said.
Recto also noted the proposal of the Commission on Higher Education(CHED) on adding an additional year in college courses such as nursing,architecture, engineering and accounting is valid to help graduates ofthese courses be better equipped in the global market.
“The CHED plan of an additional year for college is a valid argument.But if you ask me, I would prefer an additional year in pre-school than thefifth year in college. That way, we can take advantage of the betterabsorptive capacity of children for knowledge,” he said. The CHED’s proposal is part of the overall effort under the newPhilippine Main Education Highway (Towards a Knowledge-based Economy) whichaims to transform the country’s education system to conform to globalstandards and make Filipino graduates competitive and internationallyacknowledged. The five-year courses also conform to internationalagreements that set the standards for such courses. This is also part ofthe Presidential Task Force on Education (PTFE)’s recommendations submittedto President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last month.