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PCCI convenes education task force

Expressing grave concern over the declining quality of the country’s education, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s biggest business organization, is convening the Education Task Force (ETF) to come up with policy recommendations that would address the gaps and challenges in the country’s educational system, which have become pronounced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico announced that the ETF will convene its first organizational meeting on Wednesday (April 28) to assess, review and evaluate the present state of the Philippine education sector and hopefully, provide solutions to improve and make it more competitive.

PCCI President Amb. Benedicto Yujuico 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges, gaps, and deficiencies of our educational system. Now is the best time that we sit down and seriously discuss these gaps and provide solutions that would make the system at par with other countries,”

Yujuico said.

The ETF Policy Paper would describe the state of education and propose recommendations using the Quality Improvement framework which will cover four major areas of development, namely: Philippine Qualification and Learning Outcomes, Curriculum and Instructions, Competencies of Teachers and Educational Leaders, and Institutional and Policy Reforms to serve the basis of analyses, explorations and discussions.

PCCI’s ETF will be composed of 12 recognized experts in their respective fields. The PCCI will be represented by its Human Resources Development Cluster headed by its Chairman Dr. Alberto Fenix, Jr. and Co-chairpersons Mr. Emerson Atanacio, Dr. Carl E Balita, and Dr. Eduardo G. Ong.

The Basic Education, TVET, Higher Education, and Teacher’s Training institutions are duly represented in the PCCI ETF.

Fenix expressed the importance of having a multi stakeholder perspective in developing policy recommendations. “PCCI understands that the current situation has been very challenging to the country’s educational system, learning institutions, teachers, learners and even their families. Therefore, we in the PCCI have sought the formulation of the ETF in order to help the country move forward by identifying gaps in the system that was made prevalent by the pandemic,” Dr. Fenix said.

In convening the ETF, Yujuico noted that the Philippines ranked 61st in education among 63 countries based on the latest World Competitiveness Survey.

He also added the survey conducted by the Program for International Students Assessment (PISA) showing the Philippines ranked last in Mathematics and second to the last in Science against 79 other countries. In addition, the Philippines is only allocating 3.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education–far less than the United Nation standard of at least 6 percent.

The Institute of Management Development (IMD) World Talent Report found that the Filipino workforce is only the 49th most talented out of 63 nationalities evaluated. Another World Bank study in 2017 revealed that two-thirds of employers had difficulties in finding workers with adequate work ethic, or appropriate interpersonal and communications skills. This is partly due to the slow development in the education and vocational training sector.

Moreover, an OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 study revealed that new competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) have emerged in the workplace under Industry 4.0. Thus, the education sector is posed with the responsibility to equip its learners with a reliable compass and the navigation tools to find their own way and thrive in an environment that is increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain.

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