An official of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said the agency maintained its stand that the number of hours in the work immersion program of K to 12 students was sufficient.

“While we respect the comment of the PCCI (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry) about the inadequacy in the number of hours for work immersion of senior high school (SHS) students under the K to 12 curriculum, the DepEd maintains its stand,” DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali told reporters in an interview.

He said that for one, the 80 hours work immersion requirement was just the minimum. The number of hours could be 240 or 320, depending on the track that the student takes.

“Furthermore, we have an inter-agency council composed of DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). We discuss issues like this,” explained Umali, adding the council would look closely into this system.

Umali emphasized that the K to 12 curriculum was designed in a way that graduates would have the competencies to be ready for work or business, or to proceed to college.

The curriculum has core subjects, contextualize subjects, and work immersion program, according to Umali.

He added that the certificate of competency that the SHS graduates would get was the same kind of certificate being given when there was no K to 12 curriculum yet.

Students would also take the same type of exams to get that certificate of competency, he said. (PNA)