Promoting youth entrepreneurship for employment and career growth

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BPI Foundation Inc. (BPIFI), the Department of Education (DepEd), and YGOAL Inc. have initiated programs that are aligned with the goals of the Republic Act 10533 (K to 12), known as the enhanced basic education curriculum and Republic Act 10922 known as the Economic and Financial Literacy Act.

BPI Foundation co-created the program BPI SHAPE or Senior High Acceleration Program for Employment and Entrepreneurship — a Values-Driven and Skills Development Entrepreneurship and Financial Management Program — together with DepEd and YGOAL, a social enterprise consultancy organization.

BPI SHAPE aims to boost the competencies of Senior High School Students to be able to work, start a business, or go to college.

Karl, a seventeen-year-old student of Bagumbayan National High School, summed up what he learned from a learning program he participated in: “It’s about having the qualities of a good entrepreneur. The most important is self-esteem. You won’t be able to market or sell if you don’t have self-esteem.”

Another student, Jennifer, 18, said reviewing the success stories of Filipino entrepreneurs is what motivated her to excel in their school’s business expo.

“Entrepreneurship is a great way to develop employability and self-confidence in young people. There is reciprocity in that. A Harvard study showed that self-confidence actually drives youth entrepreneurship in the country. Sound business knowledge will actually help build the youth’s confidence to venture out as entrepreneurs,” said Maricris San Diego, executive director of BPI Foundation.

She added that “We are producing an estimate of about 2,000 students, just like Karl and Jennifer, to have the same learning experience using the modules of BPI SHAPE on Entrepreneurship and Personal Development for Senior High School students.”

The program is a two-year learning package meant to contribute in DepEd’s goal of ensuring that senior high school students are employable, entrepreneurial, and college-ready.

BPI SHAPE has four program components. First is the content developed, or the teaching modules for entrepreneurship and personal development. These modules were validated by the participating DepEd Divisions to ensure that these are aligned with DepEd’s SHS curriculum.

Second is the capacity building for teachers who are trained on how to use the modules and the digital professional sessions. Supplemental videos were developed based on Jobstreet’s research on employee competencies and the Philippines’ career landscape.

Third is the technology. An online repository of resource materials that support the modules was developed to enable teachers to use them online and offline. To support student work immersion, YGOAL has developed Internship Philippines, which serves as an online matching facility between school and companies for work immersion.

The fourth component is partnership. An ecosystem of support with DepEd Division partners will help in the success of the program. The program offers schools social mobilization sessions to build competencies in building relationships with the private sector. Furthermore, BPI SHAPE mobilizes the private sector to work with DepEd through Internship Talks and the Private Sector Summit.

The program culminates with the Business and Academic Fair where all stakeholders gather for a day of job matching, school partnership, entrepreneurial sessions, and other sessions that enhance the support system after the two-year intervention.

“Our students were matched with a software company because of BPI SHAPE, and they described their work immersion experience as very remarkable. They learned a lot of things that they will never forget,” said Heidy Pasiwagan, Work Immersion Coordinator in DepEd Taguig.

BPI-SHAPE was piloted in three schools in the Division of Taguig and two schools in the Division of Laguna. This school year (2018-2019) marks the program’s expansion to 12 DepEd Divisions nationwide, targeting about 204 schools, 800 plus teachers and 22,000 students.

“We continue to explore ways to bridge the gap between the K to 12 transition and the readiness of the private sector to hire SHS graduates. We are at a point where we, as a nation, are starting to realize the potential of the youth as enablers of economic development and entrepreneurship that will lift more people out of poverty,” said San Diego.

“BPI Foundation is supportive of government initiatives in line with this and we will continue to do our part in youth development and nation-building,” she said.

BPI-SHAPE is a recipient of a Gold Anvil Award for Best Public Relations Program on a Sustained Basis—Education.