The city government of Valenzuela has inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with tech giant IBM to incorporate Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) model in its Senior High School-to-College-to-Industry Program starting this academic year 2021-2022.
Created by IBM in 2011, P-TECH creates a direct path between high school, college, and career by uniting the expertise of the public and private sectors to strengthen technical and professional skills in education and reinvigorate local economies.
To date, P-TECH is in more than 266 schools globally and in 28 countries. More than 600 businesses in technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and other industries are currently participating as industry partners around the world.
Valenzuela City, with the majority of its registered businesses in production and manufacturing, relies on a skilled workforce to sustain its vibrant local industry. P-TECH will complement Valenzuela City’s Senior High School-to-College-to-Industry Program’s objective to increase the pool of skilled talent in STEM.
Valenzuela has committed to providing funds and materials to support the P-TECH program, and to bring partners within local industries on board.
To support the partnership IBM will provide technical assistance and resource on the P-TECH Model to Valenzuela City stakeholders such as in Skills Mapping, Work Based Learning, Mentoring and Internships. IBM will also make Open P-TECH, a free online learning platform, available to students and teachers with skills in emerging technologies and professional skills.
Valenzuela City mayor Rex Gatchalian said IBM’s P-TECH program is strongly aligned with the city’s Education 360 Degrees Investment Program which aims to deliver holistic quality and inclusive education.
“I am excited to see how this program will help ignite our youth’s interest in STEM and improve our local education system’s capacities to produce the much needed, job-ready talents required by industries,” he said.
The program spans from Grades 11 to 14, with the aim of students graduating with a free advanced level national certification in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), or with an associate’s degree in college across in-demand jobs in Advanced Manufacturing, Packaging, Electronics, Automotive, or HVAC industries.
Aileen Judan-Jiao, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines, said: “Working within industry while learning helps students gain early exposure and credentials to be competitive in STEM and new collar careers – which are some of the fastest growing fields in technology requiring more than a high school diploma but not necessarily a university degree.”
“We know there is an urgent need for a sustainable pool of skilled STEM talent which is why we’re grateful for the City Government of Valenzuela for partnering with us to expand P-TECH Philippines. We’re also calling on more likeminded partners to join us and open doors for more students to gain the skills they will need for the jobs of the future,” she said.