New education law to empower workers

News Release
06 December 2014

Ladderized Education Act to empower workers
New law allows ‘tech-voc’ graduates to earn units for an undergraduate degree

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today hailed the passage of the ‘Ladderized Education Act of 2014′ which she said seeks to empower workers by making tertiary education more accessible to them.

Cayetano said that under the new law (Republic Act 10647), “going back to school to earn a college degree could soon be within reach of graduates of technical and vocational or ‘tech-voc’ courses.”

“This law is part of a series of education measures that I, as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education Arts and Culture, have heard and sponsored to introduce innovations in the education sector,” she noted.

The law institutionalizes a Ladderized Education Program (LEP) which would formalize a system of accreditation and interface between and among the country’s tech-voc centers and higher educational institutions.

“Based on the hearings we conducted, ladderized programs have been successful in several tertiary schools, both public and private, including at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, New Era University and Philippine Women’s University. Our aim is to institutionalize it so more schools would be able to offer such programs to more students.”

“As its name implies, RA 10647 offers a ladder that would allow tech-voc graduates to ‘step up’ to college to pursue a degree without having to take the course program all over. Units shall be credited from a technical or vocational course to a college degree program,” she noted.

“Without a ladderized program, tech-voc graduates are unable to earn credits in college for the units they have already taken up and the expertise they have acquired. The ladderized program recognizes one’s skills and allows one to go back to school to further his or her studies, without having to start from square one.”

The program will be jointly administered and implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Education (DepEd).

She said the new law would particularly benefit workers forced by poverty or other circumstances to take up tech-voc training, where courses are shorter and fees are cheaper, instead of heading to college from high school.

On the other hand, college degree holders who wish to acquire technical skills, including those which are in demand in the labor market, may also avail of the same program under the new law, she added.

Citing a study on poverty and education from the University of Philippines (UP) School of Economics, she noted that for every one-hundred (100) children who enter Grade 1, only forty-five (45) finish high school, and only thirteen (13) would eventually finish a college.

“Based on these statistics, between the 45 students who finish high school and the 13 among them who will graduate from college four or five years later, there are about 32 high school graduates who will be left behind. It’s a sad cycle that we must address,” she said.

“This law would reach out to those who fell through the cracks of our educational system. We seek to expand the options available for them to improve their education and qualifications,” she concluded. #

Cayetano: Aim is to make college degree within reach of tech-voc graduates

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