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PIA Press Release

DepEd chief encourages technical, vocational skills dev't among students

Pasig City (25 October) -- Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus addressed the participants of the Student Technologists and Entreprenuers of the Philippines- Regional Skills Development and Competition (STEP-RSDA) of the National Capital Region last October 18 at the Roces High School in Quezon City. Participants included TLE supervisors, principals, TLE/EPP teachers and around 800 students.

Secretary Lapus expressed that while our students are learning and acquiring basic technical and vocational skills, they should be guided and assisted by our schools and school heads to prepare for competition in the tech-voc and entrepreneurship arena.

"In this era of computers, outsourcing and other technology-driven careers, more and more people are competing not only for white-collar jobs. There is actually a renewed and sustaining interest expressed by many sectors for technical, vocational and entrepreneurial pursuits and endeavors," Secretary Lapus said.

The event featured different skills contests among students in the areas of Industrial Arts, Agricultural Technology, Home Economics, Entrepreneurship and Information and Communications Technology Integration.

STEP is a national organization of, by and for students in all public and private elementary and secondary schools with supervised technological and entrepreneurial activities. It is composed of schools, divisions, regional and national organizations.

On 20 June 2006, DepEd issued Memorandum Order No. 239 series of 2006 endorsing the trusts and activities of the STEP for school year 2006-2007 under the theme: "STEP Skills: Moving Up from Underground (School and Backyard) to Mainstream Economy."

For this school year, STEP's thrusts include expansion of its organization; continuing implementation of co-curricular activities skills development programs of Technology Livelihood Education; upgrading teachers' capability in handling life skills development training of students; continuing participation of the elementary and private schools in skills development and competitions in all levels; and, establishing linkages with other government agencies, private organization and the community. It also aims to develop its members to become more active partners in nation-building and to achieve competitiveness and productivity through the different skills in agri-fishery, home economics, industrial arts and entrepreneurship.

In closing, Secretary Lapus highlighted the importance of programs, such as STEP in the development of technical and vocational skills of students that will translate to jobs for many Filipinos. He also congratulated all the participants of the said competition.

"Your presence is a testament to your skills and to your vast potentials," Secretary Lapus said. "Through your dedication, diligence and perseverance, you demonstrate your capacity to truly becomne productive for yourselves, your loved onees, and your respective communites."

The event was spearheaded by the Student Technologists and Entrepreneurs of the Philippines (STEP). Simultaneous competitive activities are taking place in different regions, culminating with the STEP National Skills Development and Competition (STEP-NSDC), which will be held on 19-24 November at Teachers Camp in Baguio City. (DepEd) [top]

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