Monday, August 27, 2007 [ 11:31 AM ]
NATIONAL CAREER ASSESSMENT EXAMINATION: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
More than 1.3 million graduating high school students and out-of-school youth from both private and public schools are expected to take their National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) tomorrow. According to the Department of Education who spearheaded the idea through their National Education and Research Center, the examination will be able to help students in choosing the courses they would take in college.
DepEd started giving the examination in January last year in their belief that it will help reduce the escalating unemployment rate in the country. Education secretary Jesli Lapus said that the unemployment is not because of the lack of jobs but merely because of misemployment. He argued that there are enough jobs available for graduating students and it’s just that they are not properly equipped with the right abilities they need to get the careers they want.
The idea of helping students in choosing what careers to take based on their abilities is great, but does the NCAE really serve that purpose? I think it will, but only if DepEd starts fixing their way of conducting the exam. Giving the examination two months before graduation like last year was a fiasco and doing it now in the last week of August will not make much difference.
If the Research department of DepEd really did their research, they should know that by this time, many students have already taken their entrance examination in different colleges and universities. As far as I have experienced, as early as June, students are already applying for examinations for their tertiary education. Conducting an exam to help them decide what course to take by this time is too little and too late. Students who are planning to enter college must have decided what program to take far earlier.
The late exam will only mean a much later result. My younger brother who just graduated in high school last year and was part of those who took the first NCAE examination received his exam results three days before his graduation. But that’s not the worst yet, because some of his classmates haven’t even received their exam results until now. If students will just start to decide what careers are suited for them after receiving the results, two things are likely to happen: First is that they will just get confused and two, they will run out of good schools to enroll at.
If DepEd is really determined to continue this examination every year, the best thing they could do is to give it to third year high school students, which is only a logical thing to do. If there are students who needs guidance in deciding what course to take, it will be them because they will be the ones who will take college entrance exams by the end of the school year. Even if the results come out by March, at least they will still have time to think before applying for a college entrance exam.