By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To make students’ work immersion easily accessible, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to partner with various organizations, private companies and institutions to help enable efficient implementation of the K to 12 Program – particularly the Senior High School (SHS) program.
Representatives from DepEd, the Aboitiz Foundation, and Philippine Business for Education (PBED) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to provide SHS students – specifically learners in Grades 11 and 12 – an opportunity to have a glimpse of the workforce life through a work immersion program.
DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan and and PBEd Director for Workforce Development Justine Raagas recently signed a MOA to roll-out the program dubbed the “Aboitiz Senior High School Work Immersion Program.”
Under the said program, various Aboitiz business units will “accommodate qualified SHS students to be “immersed” in industries relevant to their chosen education track for a period of 80 hours or 10 working days.”
For DepEd’s part, it asserted that “support from private companies and institutions enable efficient implementation of such programs that pave the way for quality education in the country.” On behalf of DepEd, Umali expressed gratitude to partners like Aboitiz Foundation in helping the agency implement its better.
“How can we succeed without partners such as the Aboitiz Foundation?” Umali said. “We are truly grateful as we are challenged to fund work opportunities for SHS students [because] with others, students even pay, but here with the Aboitiz Foundation, a work immersion allowance or stipend is even provided,” Umali said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The SHS Work Immersion is a DepEd-mandated program that aims to “holistically develop Grades 11 and 12 students’ academic learning via hands-on experience in an industry.” It also aims to “strengthen knowledge through practical application, supplementing classroom learning.”
Meanwhile, Marasigan noted that as the Aboitiz Foundation, DepEd, and PBEd partner for the Senior High School Work Immersion Program, “our chosen young nation-builders will gain the experience to work with our passionate team members towards becoming more motivated to reach their fullest potential.”
Marasigan also recognized participating Aboitiz business units Hedcor, Davao Light, Subic EnerZone, and Pilmico for being instrumental in the program’s successful pilot roll-out this school year. Through the work immersion program, she noted that “the students will be given the opportunity to work in some of the offices” of the Aboitiz Group, including that of Pilmico and Hedcor.
“We also thank DepEd and PBed for choosing the Aboitiz Group to be one of your partners in providing high-quality education to all the Filipino students,” Marasigan said. “This is a privilege that we are always proud of. Rest assured that we will do our best to stay worthy of your trust,” she added.
Employability of SHS graduates
Meanwhile, the Aboitiz group is also participating in First Future Project, an initiative by PBEd and Citi Foundation which supports “youth employability by engaging members of the business sector in the training and affirmative hiring of K to 12 students and graduates.”
This SY 2019-2020, a total of 30 qualified senior high school students will again “immerse” for 80 hours (10 days) in six Aboitiz BUs (Aboitiz Foundation, Hedcor Benguet, Hedcor Davao, Davao Light, Pilmico, and Subic Enerzone). They will be equipped with knowledge and skills in different industries and receive a stipend and transportation allowance.
The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and the environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.