Despite the availability of technical and vocational education (tech-voc) and training facilities nationwide, Filipinos are still more keen on earning college degrees, according to a recent survey.
In an Asian Development Bank (ADB) blog, Philippine Business for Education Executive Director and ADB Economics Research Lakshman Nagraj Rao Regional Cooperation Department Statisticians and Arturo Martinez said the finding was based on a recent Department of Education and ADB survey.
This is the Youth Education Investment and Labor Market Outcomes Survey (Yeilmos), which was conducted in 2017.
“The survey results show that many Filipino families still prefer their children to take up college education rather than technical and vocational education and training, in the expectation they will get better-paying jobs or earn more,” the authors said.
However, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that a number of the country’s unemployed are college degree holders.
Of the 2.36 million unemployed in April 2018, some 19.6 percent, or 462,560, are college graduates and 16.2 percent, or 382,320, are undergraduates.
PSA data showed this is still lower than the unemployed among junior high-school graduates at 28.9 percent, which is equivalent to 682,040 unemployed Filipinos.
“Education investments should be complemented by investments in job creation. A conducive environment for businesses and industry promotes the creation of productive jobs, especially for youth. Decent work should also be made available to those without college or more advanced degrees,” the authors said.
Apart from these, the survey results showed that the financial costs of education is not a primary consideration despite it being a major reason students fail to complete their schooling.
The authors said Filipinos decision on education is mainly hinged on a person’s needs and not on how much it will cost.
This is somehow ironic given that family and parents are the main source of career information for students and also take the lead in decision-making.
Guidance counselors also did not rank high in terms of being sources of career information and in being part of student’s education decisions.
“Partly, as a result, many parents significantly under- or overestimated the cost of sending a child to higher education. Parents and students cited financial difficulties as a main reason some students do not proceed to higher grades,” the authors said.
In order to overcome challenges, the Yeilmos recommended the inclusion of an enhanced quality of career guidance programs.
Career guidance takes into consideration the students’ interests, abilities, aptitude and preference. It also provides insights on the reality of labor markets, particularly on skills and educational institutions that can offer a preferred course or track.
This also provides information on financial assistance programs, particularly when students are considering post-secondary education.
The heart of career counseling should be the parents and the process must start early, the authors said. This improves the quality of information they provide their children, they added.
“Those providing career guidance information should use simple language that can be easily understood by students and parents,” the authors said.
“Career planning and guidance activities should include parental participation as early as possible to ensure that they are able to provide reliable information to their children,” they added.
The survey examined factors that influence the youth’s education choices and investments.
It analyzed 3,750 randomly selected Grades 9 to 11 students and their families in Metro Manila, Ilocos Sur, Eastern Samar and Davao del Sur.