Jennifer D. Ramos
Teacher III, TLE Department
Masbate National Comprehensive High School

The greatest gift any parent can give his/her children is education; and what better way to wrap this present up than by making it practical and useable as they go on with life. This is the same dream that the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) has envisioned since its implementation.

In this fast-paced world, teachers should be able to cope with its demands. Furthermore, they should be able to transfer 21st-century learning to all the learners inside their classroom. The transformative growth of the academic system is in a cline. This means that we should be ready to compete with the tigers of the scholastic world, not only in the City of Masbate, but in the entire globe, as a whole.

Since the start of my service as a TLE teacher in Masbate National Comprehensive High School, I have been one and in support of the department’s vision and mission to produce learners with life-based skills and competencies. I have also discovered that education forms the cornerstone of a thriving society that prepares our individual learners for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of the 21st century, the need for an education system that equips students with practical skills and real-life experiences is more crucial than ever. TLE offers a promising pathway towards this goal, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. Moreover, by embracing TLE, we can foster a generation of lifelong learners who are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and adaptability required to succeed in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.

Education should not only be limited to theoretical concepts but should also encompass the practical skills and experiences that enable individuals to thrive in real-world situations. Life-based education integrates academic knowledge with practical skills, nurturing well-rounded individuals who are prepared to tackle challenges and seize opportunities. In teaching Grade 10 Cookery, I can say that I have honed and let my students master the art of preparing dishes that would eventually become useful as they grow older; be it in their everyday cooking or if they choose to enter business someday.

Through TLE, students can engage in hands-on learning experiences that foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. TLE offers a diverse range of vocational subjects such as culinary arts, carpentry, entrepreneurship, and computer servicing, enabling students to explore their interests and develop skills that are directly applicable to their future careers.

In terms of practical application, TLE provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios, enhancing their understanding and retention of academic concepts. Through hands-on activities, simulations, and internships, students gain practical experience, allowing them to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

On the side of enhanced career readiness, this subject equips students with industry-relevant skills, preparing them for the demands of the job market. By focusing on technical and vocational subjects, TLE cultivates a workforce that is adaptable, skilled, and ready to contribute to the economy. This approach empowers students to make informed career choices and develop a sense of purpose early on.

In totality, TLE nurtures the holistic development of students, fostering not only technical skills but also essential life skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. These skills are transferable across various domains and are vital for personal growth and success in an interconnected world, especially now that we are in a more complex society.

However, as a simple classroom teacher, I noticed that integrating TLE into the existing education system can pose challenges such as limited resources, teacher training, and curriculum alignment. To address this, policymakers and educators must collaborate to design a well-structured curriculum that seamlessly integrates TLE subjects with traditional academic disciplines. Adequate investment, professional development programs, and partnerships with industries can help overcome these challenges.

Additionally, TLE has historically been associated with vocational or technical tracks, leading to stereotypes that undermine its value. To counteract this perception, it is crucial to promote TLE as an integral part of education, showcasing its benefits in fostering well-rounded individuals and addressing societal needs. Public awareness campaigns, parent engagement, and career counseling can play a vital role in reshaping perceptions.

If these can be acknowledged and given a more vivid focus by the people in the department, then the dream of producing holistically able and capable learners will eventually become more than just a dream, but a reality; and the gift of learning that we can pass on to our children will be filled with more practical and useable competencies, skills, and aptitudes.