Creation of ‘Meister Schools’ hurdles House panel

MANILA – A measure proposing the creation of specialized senior high schools called Meister Schools that will teach highly-technical skills compatible with the manufacturing and other high-value industries hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.

During a hearing on Thursday, the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture approved the substitute bill to House Bill 6287, which proposes the establishment of a network of Meister Schools in the country patterned after the technical-vocational (tech-voc) schools in Korea that produce “meisters” or master-craftsmen.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the author of the measure, cited the “dramatic” effect of Meister Schools in Korea, wherein the employment rate of vocational high school graduates increased from 19 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2012 in the first two years of implementation.

“I have always been a believer in technical and vocational education. It’s what will transform our young population into an economic powerhouse,” Salceda said.

Salceda noted that the coronavirus pandemic has emphasized how relevant skills are to job security.

“When the going gets tough, firms require workers that truly create value. Skills development is worker protection,” he said.

He said the approval of the measure would show how serious Congress is in creating the skills base needed to truly modernize the country’s economy.

“Diplomas alone will not save. Compliance with required paperwork will not save our economy. Skills will save us. It’s past time to make bold changes in our education system to recognize this urgent reality,” he said.

Under the bill, Meister Schools shall be senior high schools where courses for highly-specialized, higher-order industrial and technical skills shall be taught, with the objective of producing graduates who can find employment in the manufacturing sector and other high-value industries, such as energy, machinery, mechatronics, and telecommunications.

The proposed Meister Schools shall assist in developing technical vocational programs in the country. (PNA)

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