By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To assess the students’ aptitudes and skills as well as to estimate what field or discipline they can excel in, the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) for School Year 2017-2018 will be administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) this week.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said DepEd – through the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) and with the assistance of school division and secondary schools and personnel – will administer this school year’s NCAE to all Grade 9 students in both public and private schools nationwide on August 30 to 31.
Briones said this is pursuant to the “Policy Guidelines on the National Assessment of Student Learning for the K to 12 Basic Education Program” and the “School Calendar for SY 2017-2018.”
Last school year, about 1.8-million students took the career assessment exam.
Basically, the NCAE aims to determine the learner’s aptitude and occupational interest on any of the Senior High School (SHS) tracks. Occupational interest is the learner’s preference in specific vocations and career categories.
DepEd said the two-day exam also aims to guide the conduct of career guidance at the school level and to ensure the development of skills and competencies required for the world of work and career choices.
The NCAE is also to provide basis for profiling learner’s aptitude in the four SHS tracks such as Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports, and Arts and Design. Under the Academic track are the following strands: Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM); Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS).
DepEd said the career assessment covers three domains such as General Scholastic Aptitude (GSA), Occupational Interest Inventory (OII), and Aptitude for SHS tracks.
The GSA refers to the student’s scientific ability, reading comprehension, verbal ability, mathematical ability and logical reasoning ability. The OII pertains to the checklist of occupational interests which provides an assessment on preferences for comprehensive career guidance. The Aptitude test measures the innate ability of the student to succeed in the SHS tracks.
DepEd also reminded that only public schools and private schools with permits to operate or government recognition can administer the NCAE.
For DepEd, the NCAE is an “important tool” of the government to address job mismatch, cut unemployment rate, and reverse the local brain-drain phenomenon. Present conditions indicate that a large number of college graduates fail to find appropriate employment suited for the course they finished. This, DepEd said, “has resulted in unemployment and oversupply of college graduates in white collar jobs while resulting in shortages in skilled manpower.”
The results of the NCAE, DepEd said, will show the interest and career inclination of the student, whether it is technical-vocational, entrepreneurial, or a full college education course. This way, the parents and students will be guided on what career track is best to take after high school graduation.
DepEd reminded that the NCAE is “nondiscriminatory for people who have aptitude for technical-vocational and entrepreneurial courses and is also open to other interested out-of-school youth and A & E passers” and that the result of the NCAE is not “mandatory but recommendatory.”
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