BPI-supported program helps K-to-12 students find internships

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BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said the BPI Foundation and social enterprise YGOAL, Inc. are working with the Department of Education (DepEd) to help K-to-12 students gain more work experience during and after their time in school.

It said the BPI Senior High Acceleration Program for Employment and Entrepreneurship (BPI SHAPE) will provide schools with modules on Entrepreneurship and Personal Development, which are based on a curriculum authorized by DepEd and taught by teachers trained by BPI Foundation and YGOAL, Inc.

“We believe that the track after K-to-12 is trabaho, kolehiyo or negosyo (work, college or business). And for you to be in any of these, you should first have personality development as a core. Whether you want to enter the work force, whether you want to start a business, personality development is a first step,” BPI SHAPE Program Manager Patricia Anika V. Dauden said.

For entrepreneurship, she said BPI wants to encourage enterprise development. “As early as this stage, we want them to know that trabaho (work) isn’t the only option. There are actually other options that they can explore after K-to-12,” Ms. Dauden noted.

Aside from the modules, BPI SHAPE is also providing online resources to schools as a supplement. Experts are invited to talk about their fields in a talk-show type of video that may be used for learning inside the classroom.

Partnerships with the Ayala Business Club, JCI and Rotary is also helping the project tap private firms willing to offer internships, and if possible, employment. The K-to-12 program is an 80-hour work immersion requirement.

YGOAL has developed an online portal, Internship Philippines, to connect students with companies. Its CEO, Ireneo G. Demecais, Jr., said registered students will be matched with companies offering internships.

The program completed a two-year pilot run in Taguig City and Laguna province this year, which trained 153 teachers and involved around 2,000 students from the first batch of K-to-12 graduates.

Taguig National High School was one of the three schools chosen in Taguig. Cheryl P. Joaquin of the school’s Senior High School said the program was helpful to students and teachers, who were originally expected to come up with their own materials to discuss entrepreneurship and personal development as guided by the curriculum provided by DepEd.

“One great factor that affects them in employment is communicative skills,” Ms. Joaquin said of senior high school students. “They only need exposure, training, seminars, workshops. They can do it.”

During the test run, teachers spent four hours a week discussing the modules in class, helping with the process of validating th effectivity of the course.

Starting 2018, BPI SHAPE is expanding to Cagayan De Oro; Cebu; Dasmariñas, Cavite; Makati; Pasay; Roxas City, Capiz; Ilocos Norte; Misamis Oriental; and Quezon Province. It hopes to reach 12,200 students and 816 teachers from 204 schools in these locations.

The first year will be fully funded by BPI, and hopes to make the program self-sustaining starting the second year with help from the DepEd and local governments.

BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris L. San Diego said, after two years of direct intervention, it will be business as usual for all the agencies involved. YGOAL, Inc.’s Mr. Demecais noted that the schools will keep all the resources produced in the project. — Denise A. Valdez