TECHNICAL PANELS. Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III mentions the reconstitution of technical panels to address job mismatch challenges among graduates in higher education in a virtual briefing on Wednesday (July 13, 2022). He welcomed President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s pronouncement supporting calls to review and revise the curriculum to fit the actual demands of industries. (Screengrab)

MANILA – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday welcomed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.'s pronouncement underscoring the need for the education sector to revisit and revise, if needed, the existing curriculum to address the job mismatch among graduates in the country.

In a virtual press briefing, CHED Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III said the President's remark on the issue was very much needed, considering the rapid change in technology and all other industries.

De Vera mentioned that they have been trying to cope with these developments, particularly for the past two years since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, affecting workplace demands.

“We’ve been doing this for the past two years and the Commission thanks President Marcos for highlighting the need to continuously visit and revise the curriculum… You cannot have a curriculum that is not revised because you will be left behind. Courses that have significant shifts in the market for example,” he said.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles earlier said Marcos had told his Cabinet members that basic education skills and knowledge must be improved to prepare students as they pursue a higher level of learning.

“That’s exactly what is happening. That is why we have to look at the curriculum as well. Not only of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), but also even our diploma courses,” Marcos had said.

The Kinder to Grade 12 (K-12) Program has prompted them to adjust the curriculum for tertiary education, which significantly shortened several programs, including the previous five-year-long programs of engineering courses.

“We have been reviewing it consistently, remember, we approved the new curriculum in all degree programs because of Senior High, remember the general education curriculum was transferred from Higher Education to Senior High,” he said.

But working on job mismatch, De Vera said they have started “reconstituting technical panels” across programs.

“The reconstitution of the technical panel ensures that there will be equal representation between academe, industry, and government… They are the ones who tell or who discuss in the technical panel, the kind of competencies that the graduates must-have,” he added.

The technical panel is also expected to come up with roadmaps presenting trends, particularly the medium- to long-term supply and demand trends in the country.

Likewise, De Vera said they have long started moves that will encourage the youth to engage in agriculture-related programs, following the call of Marcos to further boost agricultural and technology professions.

“We’ve been trying to do that for several years now, we had a very magandang scholarship program for Agri students funded from the Department of Agriculture. Actually, hindi lang Agri ang kailangang dumami, ang mas kritikal (not only should the agricultural students be increased, but it’s also more critical for) are students going to fisheries. Fisheries is more, parang mas konti ang estudyante sa fisheries kaysa sa agri (there’s less students in the fisheries than in the agriculture), that is really ironic,” he said

The Department of Education (DepEd), meanwhile, has yet to issue a statement concerning revisiting curriculum for the basic education in the country. (PNA)