CHEd identifies ‘priority courses’ to fill needs of workforce

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CHEd chairperson Patricia Licuanan. PHOTO FROM CHED.GOV.PH

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Higher Education has come up with a list of “priority courses” in a bid to steer college students toward degrees that the labor market needs.

The newly identified priority courses include Natural Sciences (specifically biology, chemistry, marine biology, applied physics, geology, earth science); Psychology; Mathematics (applied mathematics, statistics/applied statistics); Accountancy; and Social Work.

CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said they came up with the additional list of priority courses “to cope with the growing gap between the skills of graduates and the available jobs in the market.”

In 2011, CHEd has prescribed priority courses for School Year (SY) 2011 to 2012 up to SY 2015 to 2016.

It identified the priority courses after an inter-agency meeting with labor and economic planning officials as well as representatives of associations of colleges and universities.

CHEd said the priority courses were identified based on national development plans, manpower demands for 2011-2015 and the labor market study of the Department of Labor and Employment that identified the in-demand and hard-to-fill jobs.

These priority fields are:

* Engineering (mechanical, electronics, communication, metallurgical/mining, computer, biomedical, chemical, geodetic, electrical, meteorological, mining and geological);

* Agriculture and related fields (agro-forestry, veterinary medicine, agricultural engineering, agribusiness/management, agricultural entrepreneurship, agri-tech, agriculture, fisheries);

* Health Sciences (pharmacy, radiology technology, medical technology);

* Teacher Education major in math, science, physics, chemistry, reading, English, educational media/technology and special education (SPED);

* Information Technology (information technology and computing studies, multi media, animation, programming, computer science and information system management);

* Science and Math (BS Math, BS Science and BS Physics);

* Arts and Humanities; Atmospheric Science; and Environmental Science.

CHEd has said it would only accept scholars enrolled in identified priority courses.

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