To highlight its worth in the K-12 curriculum, the Department of Education (DepEd) has formed a Technical Vocational unit in the Bureau of Secondary Education. For them, this unit needs strengthening as one of the three key strands that will prepare high school graduates by arming them with skills for employment.
Contrary to what most people think, the K-12 program trains students in joining the workforce as early as 7th grade. The TLE or technological livelihood education subjects in junior high school or JHS follow the rules of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA. This will allow the students to earn a national certification (NC) required by the industry.
Each TLE subject in Grades 7 and 8 is exploratory. This means each student has the chance to explore the following four main courses of TLE.
1) Agri-Fishery Arts
2) Home Economics
3) Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
4) Industrial Arts
Students can choose a maximum of four TLE mini courses in Grade 7 and another four in Grade 8 that the school offers per locality’s needs and school assets.
In Grades 7 and 8, the student does not yet earn a Certificate of Competency (COC). The exploratory courses are a prelude to earning a COC in Grade 9 and an NC I/II in 10th grade.
In Grade 9, the student chooses one course to focus on from among the exploratory courses he chose in 7th and 8th grades. Under this level, the student can earn a COC. In Grade 10, the student pursues the TLE specialization course he chose in 9th grade. This allows him to get at least an NC Level I or II (NC I or II) based on the TLE course he chose.
JHS graduates or incoming Grade 11 students will study core compulsory subjects and a required specialty. They can choose from the three main tracks such as Academic, Technical–Vocational-Livelihood (TVL), and Sports and Arts.
If the student picks the TVL track as specialty in senior high school or SHS, he/she will continue the TLE course he/she studied in 9th and 10th grades. This will allow him/her to earn NC II that he/she can use as credentials in applying for a job if he/she wants to work after SHS graduation. Yet if the student will study further, he/she can pursue the TVL track and earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
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