CHED issues priority courses, curbs mismatch in employment

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The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) bares new set of priority courses for the upcoming school years in tertiary education. The agency gets alarmed with the burgeoning difference between skills of graduates and the available jobs in the market. On Tuesday, CHED has announced to reports of prerogative courses that must be offered to incoming college students.


Recipients of the Commission's Students Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP) will be directed to qualify for these range of courses, as they become pioneer subjects of this new implementation.


CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan spoke about the agency' s decision to release the list of courses to give assurance to students the right skills and expertise they acquire after college.


“In accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1994 (RA 7722), based on the national development plans, manpower demands for School Year 2011-2015 and the Department of Labor and Employment Jobs Fit 2020 Vision and in view of the Commission’s En Banc resolution dated March 14, 2011, the following are the priority courses that shall be followed within the next five years or from School Year 2011-2012 to 2015-2016 where the incoming grantees of the STuFAP will be directed to enroll,” Licuanan said in her memorandum addressed to the Commission’s regional offices.


Among the list of priority courses are Information Technology including IT and Computing Studies, Multi-Media, Animation, Programming, Computer Science, IT Systems Management; Agriculture and Related Fields such as Agro-Forestry, Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural Engineering, Agri-Business Management, Agri-Tech and Fisheries; Engineering and its related specialization like Mechanical, Electronics, Metallurgical, Computer, Biomedical, Geodetic, Electrical Meteorological, Mining and Geological; Health Sciences such as in Pharmacy, Radiological and Medical Technology; Arts and Humanities; Atmospheric Science and Environmental Science; Teacher Education with specialization in Math, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Reading, English, Education Media; Special Education; and Science and Math.


Licaunan also addressed the distribution of enrollees to each course. She said 20 percent should go to Engineering, 15 percent each in Agriculture, Teacher Education and Health Services, 10 percent in IT courses, Science and Math, and 5 percent each in Arts and Humanities, Atmospheric Science and Environmental Science.


Courses considered as “undersubscribed” or with fewer number of enrollees, as CHED has described, are Agriculture, Fisheries and Engineering. In comparison to oversubscribed programs where students usually go to, are IT, Teacher Education, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Business Administration and Nursing.


A Memorandum Order No. 32 was then issued by CHED, banning public and private higher education institutions from offering new undergraduate and graduate programs in the five oversubscribed courses.


Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz supported the issuance of such memorandum as this presents a significant decrease in the enrollment of oversubscribed courses, displaces enrollees to the undersubscribed programs. Baldoz seconded CHED's moratorium correlates Labor Department's programs in providing sufficient and relevant information to students about market employment.

Thus, Kabataan Party List Representative Raymond 'Mong' Palatino insisted that government must change its employment plans in giving quality jobs for our newly graduates.


“In a country where quality jobs are scarce, finding a job will be a real challenge for our new graduates. I urge President Aquino to improve the government’s job plan for our graduates and unveil this plan to the public," Palatino said.


Palatino also stressed that government agencies in charge of employment should arrange new mechanisms in addressing this issue, and go beyond the traditions of conducting career orientation and employment coaching seminar.


The Labor Department has already said last week that it will conduct career-orientation for newly graduates, and encourage them to sign up in various job portals to make themselves accessible to prospect employers.




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