Accessing the future: DepEd backs APEC Strategy for accessible education, training

Sunday, October 30, 2016

PASIG CITY, October 30, 2016 – The Philippines has taken another vital step in tearing down the wall of job mismatch, which continues to impede the Filipinos’ access to employment opportunities that suit their competencies and the labor market’s demands.

On October 5 and 6, the Philippine delegation to the 6th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Lima, Peru united with 19 other countries in the call “to have a strong and cohesive education community characterized by inclusive and quality education.”

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, along with the education ministers and senior officials of participating economies, adopted a joint declaration that recognizes the importance of inclusive and quality education and training in enabling APEC citizens to develop their full potential and participate in the ever changing globalized economy.

In her presentation, Briones stated that “the Philippines expresses its support for the vision and framework embodied in the APEC Education Strategy, including the objective to lift and align competencies to the needs of individuals, societies, and industries through modernization of education systems.”

The APEC Education Strategy points member economies toward the common vision of ensuring inclusive and quality education to support sustainable economic growth, social well-being and employability of all citizens.

The two-day conference allowed the representatives of every delegation to report on the current education status in their respective countries and on how each economy endeavors to achieve a priority action with respect to the APEC Education Strategy objectives of enhancing competencies, accelerating innovation, and increasing employability.

“Education and training must meet eye-to-eye in preparing a globally competent citizenry. First, we must equip our learners with 21st century skills – through quality, accessible, relevant and liberating basic education – for them to be able to adapt to future changes in the labor market needs,” the Philippine Education chief pointed out.

Through the 6th AEMM joint declaration, member economies have agreed to support education and training cooperation through educational research and policy analyses in the next four years. The education leaders also vowed to work together to strengthen partnerships between governments, educational and technical-vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and the private sector to better facilitate transition from education to work; lift participation in lifelong learning; and encourage the development of global competencies and entrepreneurship skills.

After four days of exchanging insights and experiences through the ministerial meeting and related events, the 20 countries adopted two additional declarations, which center on the importance of increasing “equitable access to high-quality education [that] will allow our populations to develop skills and competencies, from early childhood and throughout their lifetime,” and of encouraging members “to collaborate on improving education in the Asia-Pacific region under the principles established in APEC Education Strategy.”