A JOINED House committee approved on Tuesday bills seeking to create so-called “Meister” schools, which are geared towards training graduates for the needs of industry with a heavy concentration of specialized technical-vocational (tech-voc) courses.

House Bill (HB) 652 or the proposed Meister Schools Act, authored by Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, hopes to establish one such senior high school in every region.

The measure is modeled on tech-voc schools in South Korea, which in turn were inspired by the German system of apprenticeship until students reach “meister” status in their particular craft.

“The Department of Education maintains support for the fulfillment of this bill,” Education department assistant secretary Alma Ruby C. Torio said at the hearing.

On the other hand, HB 996 or the proposed National Academy for Technical and Vocational Skills Systems Act, seeks to establish at least one specialized tech-voc high school in every highly urbanized city as well as in every region.

“We want students to be given an option to be able to work as a skilled craftsmen or go to college,” Pasig Rep. Roman T. Romulo, the author of HB 996, said at the hearing.

The objective, he said, is to make students fit to work immediately after Senior High School, he added.

“We would like to commend these bills, particularly on giving depth on the concept of theoretical application of learning tech-voc in classrooms,” Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Deputy Director General Tonisito M.C. Umali said at the hearing. — Kyanna Angela Bulan