A PROGRESSIVE youth organization characterized as despicable a proposal of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry to lengthen the on-the-job training hours for grade 12 students by 100 percent.
In a statement, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) said the PCCI’s proposal is “an outright attempt to siphon more free labor and profit from K-12 students.”
Under the proposal of the biggest business organization in the country, the on-the-job training man-hour requirements for Senior High students should be increased by 100 percent from the current eighty hours to eight hundred (roughly five months at a 40-hour work every week) to make them “work-ready” upon graduation.
The proposal, the SPARK observed, would also entail a change for the worse in the currently neo-liberal and exploitative orientation of the K-12 curriculum.
Moreover, the SPARK noted that in 2015, the PCCI in collaboration with the Department of Education initiated the integration of the dual training program in the K to 12 curriculum to address the “gripes of the business sector – that graduates of our education system are not in tune with the skills required by industries.”
“The PCCI is part of those who formulated the internship program for their member-companies to benefit from and now it wants to expand the program and further turn students into slaves,” the SPARK said.
The group, at the same time, alleged that the PCCI is conditioning the mind of the public that “the current OJT program is insufficient.”
SPARK insists that if the proposal is granted, “it would depress the wages and give rationalization to unjust employment practices like contractualization.”