Department of Education Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Bettina Aquino talks about the program of the municipality of La Trinidad institutionalizing a framework for the immersion program of senior high school students. (Photo courtesy of Carlito Dar/PIA-CAR)
BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) in Cordillera has lauded the municipal government of La Trinidad, Benguet for institutionalizing a program accepting senior high school students for their work immersion.
“It was started last school year, the local government accepted students for their immersion program and when they saw the good effect of the program, they came up with a memorandum of agreement (MOA),” said Joel Cervantes of the La Trinidad municipal information office on Tuesday.
DepEd assistant regional director Bettina Aquino said La Trinidad’s framework institutionalizing the program is a good start which could be adopted by other local government units.
“We know that one best practice in La Trinidad [Benguet], there is already an institutionalized framework where students can have their immersion in industries present in La Trinidad. We hope that all LGUS (local government units) will have that, kung saan magkakaroon ng practicum ang mga grades 11 and 12 (where grades 11 and 12 can have their practicum),” Aquino said in a media briefing last week.
Aquino said in a recently conducted two-day Senior High School Summit, one of the challenges raised is the lack of immersion partners for senior high schools.
Aquino shared that an employee of the local government is assigned to handle the immersion program, including the orientation, a briefing on the processes and their fields of assignment.
“All the different offices are already oriented on how they will handle the students. The accounting office, the engineering and all other offices are given students for their immersion,” Aquino said.
She said that all academic tracks are accepted by the municipality. They also link the students to industries taking up the technical-vocational and livelihood track.
“They are covered by a MOA which is good for five years, thus schools are not worried where they can bring their students for their immersion every year,” Aquino added.
La Trinidad's present program is with Guisad Valley High School, a Baguio City-based school.
“Sana other LGUs will take after La Trinidad, para sa bayan po ito (we hope other LGUs will take after La Trinidad. This is for public service),” Aquino added.
Prior to graduation in senior high school, each student is required to undergo a minimum of 40 hours of immersion program where they are made to observe and do real work.
“Immersion is observing the workplace to confirm the theories they learn in the classroom. It is in immersion where the students will get to know how they do things,” said Georaloy Palao-ay of the Public Affairs Division of DepEd-Cordillera.
He said during the summit, several senior high school students below 18 years old and some partners raised concern about activities that they can give students and not violate the child labor law.
Palao-ay shared that some partners provide an employee-mentor who would assist the students in observing the workplace.
He cited as example the immersion program of students taking up the technical, vocational and livelihood (TVL) strand who, after internship, would know how to properly set a table and talk to customers.
“The goal is to make the students ready for the job if they decide to work after high school,” Aquino said.
The DepEd Cordillera has recorded around 12,275 students in public schools all over the region who will finish senior high school this year. From private schools, there are over 13,000 students expected to graduate.
Aquino said most of the graduates took up the academic track, specifically the STEM, Accounting, Business Management, ABN, Humanities and Arts and Design.
In the region, only one school, the Baguio City National High School offered the Sports strand.
The TVL is completed with the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and other industries and TVL institutions offering the skills. (PNA)