Youth group pushes for inclusion of labor education in SHS curriculum

Published June 3, 2021, 5:33 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A youth organization hailed on Thursday, June 3, the signing of the Labor Education Act into law which integrates labor education in the general education curriculum of public and private higher education institutions as an elective.


However, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) also reiterated that the law is “insufficient” in guaranteeing the rights of future workers from labor rights abuses.

“This is a win for students as they will finally be equipped with enough knowledge and know-how with regards to their rights in workplace. However, this isn’t enough as it only covers tertiary students rather than both tertiary and senior high school students,” SPARK National Coordinator John Lazaro said.

Lazaro pointed out that compared to senior high school graduates, tertiary graduates end up in white-collared jobs, while the former most likely end up in “rank-and-file jobs that are more prone to abuse and exploitation.”

He also batted for labor education to be mandatory rather than just included as an elective in the general education curriculum.

Making labor education mandatory will “ensure that all students will graduate with full awareness of their rights as workers,” said Lazaro.

“If the government retains its mantra that senior high school graduates are ‘job ready’ then it needs to put its foot down on equipping students with knowledge about their labor rights in preparation for employment,” he added.

SPARK also called on college students to learn about salaries and wages, employment policies, state-sanctioned benefits, and other political rights in the workplace.

On May 27, President Duterte has signed a law integrating labor education in the tertiary education curriculum.

The new law recognizes the need for the state to put in place a mechanism to educate future workers, employers, and entrepreneurs on their rights and responsibilities in promoting harmony in the workplace and social progress in society.