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  • The ULF Team

Unilab Foundation Partners with DepEd BCD to Prepare Learners for Career Counseling and Development

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine educational system shifted dramatically to remote learning, impacting the 28 million Filipino learners across academic levels due to quarantine measures.


Guiding Educators in Counseling

“As parents and as educators, we are making progress in our efforts to normalize the new normal by providing our children the quality of life they deserve. In response, we aim to equip parents, guidance counselors and community leaders with concrete actions that will help our learners in [realizing] their [potential],” emphasized Dir. Jocelyn Andaya, Director IV of Department of Education – Bureau of Curriculum Development (DepEd – BCD) in her speech during a webinar on Tracking the Career Development of Learners, Portfolio Assessment in Career Pathing.


The webinar highlighted the importance of socioemotional learning and holistic development relevant to the necessary steps involved in the Career Development Process, as well as the proper utilization of evidence-based Career Portfolio as students’ tool in choosing which curricular track to follow in preparation for the academic program that they intend to pursue and beyond.


Reaching over 100,000 teachers, and guidance counselors nationwide, this activity is one of the few initiatives started through a newly forged partnership between Unilab Foundation and the Department of Education – Bureau of Curriculum Development (DepEd BCD).






Dir. Jocelyn Andaya, the Director IV of DepEd – BCD and Dir. Elizabeth Aristorenas, the Executive Director of Unilab Foundation encouraged parents, teachers, and guidance counselors to become key motivators in learners’ career development in their speech during a webinar on Tracking the Career Development of Learners, Portfolio Assessment in Career Pathing.


Bridging Education Gaps Amidst COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine educational system shifted dramatically to remote learning, impacting the 28 million Filipino learners across academic levels due to quarantine measures.


Adding to this, the results of the joint UNICEF-UNDP (2020) assessment on over 3,600 households with children residing in the National Capital Region, showed early evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on learners' mental health. Out of 17 respondents, 11 mentioned about their children’s inability to focus during online classes. This indicates a growing need to provide psychosocial support not only to boost student’s interest in learning but also to guide them towards career readiness.


In response Unilab Foundation, in collaboration with DepEd BCD, is well positioned to provide the said psychosocial support, in line with its goal of improving the mental health and well-being of young Filipinos. This is made possible through its sub-program Heads Up PH, one of the country’s most innovative organizations, that promotes promising practices on mental health as identified by the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) and the United Nations Population Fund in the Philippines (UNFPA).

Partnering with the Department of Education - Bureau of Curriculum Development (DepEd BCD), in collaboration with various mental health associations, and public and private organizations, Unilab Foundation seeks to provide holistic, appropriate, and effective career counseling for Grade 10 learners.


“Career counseling is now more complex as it provides a broad spectrum of concerns from mental health issues to matching the skills and motivations of our learners amid a competitive global economy. [We seek to] work closely with various industries in identifying the new competencies for the work of the future [and] promote holistic wellbeing and socioemotional learning,” shared Dir. Lilibeth Aristorenas, Unilab Foundation’s Executive Director.


With the vastly changing learning landscape and the emerging labor market demands, the said partnership heed to the call in addressing the gap on career information campaigns, career barriers, and employment mismatch, in order to prepare a nation of responsible, productive, and fulfilled future professionals.


Going the Distance







Mark Anthony V. Bercando, Supervising Education Program Specialist of DedEd BCD, Dr. Sheila Marie Hocson, Unilab Foundation’s Program Director, and Jona Kristen Valdez, the Senior Education Program Specialist of DepEd BCD emphasized that crucial steps and factors involved in the Career Development Process during a webinar on Tracking the Career Development of Learners, Portfolio Assessment in Career Pathing.


Mark Anthony V. Bercando, Supervising Education Program Specialist of DedEd BCD also emphasized that there is a crucial need to follow an organized and systematic Career Planning. He emphasized several factors to consider in Career Decision Making such as students’ interest, skills, competencies, academic performance and extracurricular engagement. Bercando also pointed out the need to align socioeconomic, demographic and health conditions with the learner’s career choice.


On the other hand, Dr. Sheila Marie Hocson, Program Director of Heads Up PH pointed out the learners’ need to be in a supportive environment. She underscored how career barriers like lack of vocational identity, irrational thoughts and controlling parents can affect the decision making of the learners, thereby creating negative outcomes in their wellbeing.


Following the webinar, Unilab Foundation and DepEd BCD is set to release a Guidance Video Series that will feature The Parents’ Role in Career Development Process, What’s a Career Portfolio, Steps in Making a Career Portfolio, and How to Help Student Use the Portfolio in Career Decision Making. Through these, families and communities are urged to prepare young learners of today in making informed choices for the future.


For inquiries on partnerships and more information about our mental health programs, you may also contact Jefferson Hilario, Project Officer of Heads Up PH, at 0917-326-2092 or send an e-mail to headsup@unilabfoundation.org.


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