April 20, 2024

Higher learning institutions in the Philippines deploy graduating students for on-the-job training (OJT) during their last semester in college.
As stated in a Commission on Higher Education memorandum order: “The internship program is meant to provide students with an opportunity to complement their formal learning with practical knowledge, skills and desirable attitudes and to gain hands on experience in recognized host training establishment (HTE).”
Article 6 of the CHED memorandum also mentions that OJTs take up to a maximum of five months for interns to acquire knowledge, skills, and opportunities applicable to life.
The Covid-19 pandemic halted the deployment of interns due to safety and health restrictions. OJT programs were conducted through limited or non-mandatory face-to-face trainings.
In the updated guidelines of CHED, it states: “Laboratory/shop courses along with OJT and apprenticeship programs shall be conducted primarily through onsite learning experiences.”
CHED then ensured the seamless transition of interns on returning to onsite learning while implementing upgraded facilities, learning tools, and materials.
However, are interns ready to face the future working in their chosen industry?
OJTs provide many advantages to achieve the intern’s dreams and fulfillment in the workplace. Among those is the comprehensive training, work experience and ethics, and learnings that interns will receive and inculcate those into practice in their future careers.
Considering the newfound potentials and opportunities given to interns, it may seem that life is but a piece of cake. It would take a few months to complete OJT, prepare for graduation, apply for jobs, or even take masters or PhD while working.
Notwithstanding the excitement to finish their college degree, there is a dilemma faced by many interns.
Financial dependency is one of the main struggles of interns who are mostly are under the care of their parents. They have to adjust to being bombarded with fees and asking their parents to have sufficient money to support them. It is the responsibility of parents to support their children’s educational pursuits but it can be a challenge as not everyone has the financial means to do so.
From paying the OJT fee which ranges from P500 to P15,000, a lot find it stressful to comply with such a policy which then can lead interns to drop out or switch courses.
Interns who are working part-time jobs encounter similar difficulties because they have to support their financial, material, personal, and educational needs while on their OJT.
To join the workforce in the future, it is crucial to be flexible and competent when confronted with changes. Yet, the shift from online into onsite work concerns interns because it affects their physical and mental health.
As stated by the Department of Health in their response to issues about mental health: “There is less than one mental health worker for every 100,000 Filipinos.” Workers look towards other means to cope with the pressure such as through smoking or vaping, drinking alcohol, stress eating, or video gaming.
There is no definite way on how how to deal with changes in the workplace, however, it is best to keep in mind that mental health is significant in one’s work performance and overall well-being.
It is urged that even for interns, they have to have a healthy lifestyle and undergo a medical examination before their internship. Even relationships among their coworkers or employees of the company must be kept professional wherein the scalar chain is strictly followed and they must report if they experience sexual harassment.
Based on how the demands in the workforce increase each day, interns will be ready if they focus more on the positive aspects and experience working in a company for several months.
They should be updated and educated on what to expect, perform, and achieve while in the workplace are important as it grounds them in the future.
The real world is definitely a scary place as the world imparts overloaded information to those who wish to aim better in life. But I strongly believe that interns can be prepared for the future and survive the stress experienced during OJT.
As Abraham Lincoln said: “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”