The House committee on basic education and culture approved a substitute bill which aims to institutionalize a career and guidance program for all high school students to provide them with proper direction in pursuing subsequent tertiary education.
The unnumbered bill, which substituted House Bills 1890 and 2867 authored by Reps. Arthur Defensor Jr (3rd District, Iloilo) and Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), respectively, calls for the creation of a National Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Program (CGCP) to be administered by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Defensor said there is a need to have an educational system that is responsive to the needs of national development.
He said this is basically achieved through career guidance and counseling at the secondary level.
“The program will help secondary students on how to proceed from high school, based on their inherent capacity and skills, job opportunity and accessible tertiary education or technical education/skills development programs,” Defensor said.
Escudero said the CGCP will act as an instrument to maintain a viable balance among the number of white collar employees, skilled manpower and entrepreneurs through a provision of career direction to secondary graduates.
Escudero chaired the committee which approved the substitute bill. “The CGCP aims to minimize wastage in education arising from dropping out, non-completion and poor performance of students in colleges and universities, and the decreasing percentage of successful examinees in professional licensure examinations,” said Escudero.
Under the substitute bill, the CGCP shall be implemented in all public and private secondary education institutions and shall begin at the Grade 7 level.
Likewise, it shall be a prerequisite to senior high school graduation.
The measure tasks the DepEd, in coordination with the Professional Regulation (PRC), accredited professional organizations on guidance counseling, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) to formulate, develop and review a Career Guidance and Counseling Instructional Module (CGCIM).
The said module shall serve as the basic instructional material to guide secondary students in their pursuit of meaningful and rewarding tertiary education based on their capacity and skills, the accessibility of public tertiary education institutions, the labor market, and the requirements and expectations of the government, industry, and the economy.
The bill calls for the establishment of a CGCP Center in all secondary schools, to be headed by the school administrator who shall be assisted by a trained career and employment guidance counselor.
It further states the CGCP Center shall function as a resource center for the implementation of the CGCP and shall be primarily responsible for providing guidance and counseling based on the CGCIM.
In accordance with Section 9 of Republic Act No. 10533, otherwise known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013”, and notwithstanding the provisions of Section 27 of Republic Act No. 9258, otherwise known as the “Guindance and Counseling Act of 2004” career and employment guidance counsellors, who are not registered with the PRC, shall be allowed to conduct career advocacy activities to secondary level students of the school where they are currently employed provided that they undergo a training program developed and accredited by the DepEd.
Moreover, the DepEd, through the National Education Testing and Research Center, is mandated to conduct an annual National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) among students in the appropriate Grade level in all public and private secondary schools nationwide as a tool to assess and evaluate the aptitude, skill or inclination of the student in a particular occupational field and to serve as guide for the students in choosing their respective courses or career options.
The DepEd Secretary shall determine the content of the NCAE, date of examination, location of examination centers, and appropriate Grade level of examinees, and shall issue the guidelines necessary for the effective implementation of the NCAE.
The DepEd Secretary shall also review the content of the NCAE from time to time and make revisions, as may be deemed necessary, to maintain the relevance, validity, and integrity of the examination.
The DepEd Secretary is further directed to immediately include in the Department’s program the implementation of the Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.