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Sugartech course for nationwide implementation

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The “Sugar Processing” Course was officially launched for nationwide implementation, particularly in sugar-producing provinces, on October 12 at Mabinay, Negros Oriental, where it was first introduced at Tara Provincial Community High School.*

The Department of Education Central Office approved recently the “Sugar Processing” Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Course, specifically designed for senior high school students interested in a career in the sugar industry, as one of the elective specialization tracks or courses for senior high school students.

With the DepEd approval, “Sugar Processing” was officially launched on October 12 at Mabinay, Negros Oriental, where it was first introduced at Tara Provincial Community High School. It can now be offered in all senior high schools nationwide, particularly in sugar-producing provinces.

The curriculum for Sugar Processing was crafted primarily by the Philippine Sugar Technologists Association Inc. (PHILSUTECH), in collaboration with DepEd-Negros Oriental and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for the inclusion of sugar technology subjects for senior high school students.

Clifford Ignacio, principal of Tara Provincial Community High School in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, initially contacted Philsutech Past President Mario Palma in January 2020 to seek Philsutech’s expertise in the preparation of the competency-based curriculum, disclosed Philsutech Corporate Secretary and Administrative Officer Haydee Rivera.

The late Jinah Cuenca, Philsutech Committee on Academe Chairperson who unfortunately passed away on June 15, 2021, and Colegio de San Agustin – Bacolod professor Leo Diopenes, supported by the Philsutech Secretariat, formed a Technical Working Group with DepEd-Negros Oriental officials, including Ignacio, and TESDA personnel to craft the curriculum,” Rivera added.

On February 2021, it was forwarded for approval to then Education Secretary Leonor Briones, thru DepEd Region VII Director Salustiano Jimenez. Recently, it was approved and was launched for nationwide implementation in a ceremony led by DepEd-Negros Oriental, TESDA, Sugar Regulatory Administration and Philsutech officials led by its president Engr. Noli Segovia, Committee on Academe Chairperson Jocelyn Sorrilla, Past President Mario Palma, and Haydee Rivera.

The Sugar Processing subjects are divided into four modules, which correspond to one subject per semester for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students.

Sugar Processing I (1st Semester – Grade 11) provides an overview of the global sugarcane industry, particularly the history and origin of sugarcane, sugarcane-producing countries in the world and sugarcane practices in different countries.

Sugar Processing II (2nd Semester – Grade 11) covers cultivation methods, sugarcane products and by-products, farm machineries and equipment used from land preparation to harvesting and hauling of sugarcane, and management of farm machineries and equipment.

Sugar Processing III (1st Semester – Grade 12) provides an overview of the sugar manufacturing process, from juice preparation, extraction of sugar and the shipment of bulk sugar.

Sugar Processing IV (2nd Semester – Grade 12) covers a more detailed discussion of the sugar manufacturing process, with emphasis on industry standards and guidelines.

Upon completion of the course, the students will be credited with Level II National Competency Certificate in Technical-Vocational Livelihood Tract in Sugar Processing.

The course is expected to spur the students’ interest in the sugar industry, the major driver of Negros Island’s economy. Negros Island is home to 13 of the country’s 25 active sugar mills, ten of which are in Negros Occidental and three in Negros Oriental.*

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