MANILA, December 7, 2017—The trifocal agencies on education – the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – pledged their commitment to develop a shared agenda, and achieve closer complementation towards high-impact learning outcomes during the 2017 Education Summit held from December 5 to 6 at the Manila Hotel.
After sharing feedback, inputs, and perspectives, the approximately 1,800 delegates from the education and other allied government agencies, development partners, and stakeholders including the learners, agreed on the set of commitments anchored on three thematic areas: ensuring quality education; education and economic development; and inclusive education.
To ensure the delivery of quality education to Filipino learners, education leaders and stakeholders committed to further develop efforts that will safeguard an effective, timely, and efficient allocation and utilization of budgets, and complemented strategies and programs driven by a shared and unified agenda among the education agencies.
The delegates also pledged to enhance the curriculum, and teaching and training quality; ensure the effectiveness of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) integration in education; and create an enabling environment among all education institutions.
Education and economic development
The delegates committed to strengthen mechanisms that will ensure smooth implementation of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF); improve coordination and collaboration schemes among the three education agencies; and accelerate the establishment of a Government-Industry-Education Council that strengthens collaboration among government, schools, and industry.
Furthermore, the delegates vowed to ensure the formulation of a long-term education sector strategy for the successful implementation of Republic Act 10931; the development of inclusive curriculum and programs responsive to the needs of all learners; and the further enhancement of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) backed by research and analysis on learners, teachers, curriculum, and learning resource packages.
Towards national development
The theme, “Sustaining the Gains, Closing the Gaps,” proved to be highly auspicious, as the heads of the trifocal agencies reported great strides in strengthening the implementation of programs and policies geared towards the delivery of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating education - whether basic, higher, or technical-vocational. They further highlighted the challenges that remain to be conquered.
“Education is important to all. DepEd is a mammoth institution, and everyone in this room has intense issues on education – matters very close to our hearts. Coming together in discussion and dialogue, I am certain we can all begin to see the bigger picture,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated during her delivery of status updates on basic education in the first plenary session.
CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and TESDA Director General Guiling Mamondiong also reported on the key issues and directions for their respective agencies.
Also present at the event were Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Francis Escudero, and Cebu 5th District Representative Ramon Durano VI.
Supported by the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST), a development cooperation program by Australia and the Philippines, the summit is ultimately aimed at realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4 – ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.