/ 31 July 2020

SENATOR Win Gatchalian is proposing the creation of a National Education Council to institutionalize national coordination and harmonization of policies among the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Gatchalian explained under Senate Bill No. 1526 that the council will create a national education agenda which will establish the country’s strategic vision for education.

The national education agenda will have a horizon of at least five years and updated annually by NEDCO.

According to Gatchalian, the establishment of NEDCO will boost the education sector’s efforts to ‘build back better’ from the effects of the Covid19 pandemic which affected more than 28 million students from pre-primary to tertiary levels.

Reiterating the need for aligned education policies, Gatchalian cited as example the need for a stronger link between teachers’ in-service and pre-service teacher education, noting that the latter is not within the DepEd’s mandate.

Pre-service teacher education provides training to student teachers before undertaking the actual teaching experience, while in-service teacher education provides learning opportunities for practicing teachers.

NEDCO will also implement an action agenda to boost the country’s performance in assessments such as the National Achievement Test, Programme for International Student Assessment, Education Index, and Education for All Development Index.

“Sa pagbuo ng NEDCO, palalakasin natin ang ugnayan sa pagitan ng DepEd, TESDA, CHED, mga iba’t ibang sektor at ahensiya ng pamahalaan upang maging mabisa ang pagpapatupad ng mga reporma sa ating sistema ng edukasyon,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

Based on the proposed bill, the President will chair NEDCO, while the DepEd Secretary, CHED and TESDA chairpersons will serve as co-vice chairpersons.

Other members of the NEDCO will include the Senate President, Speaker of the House, heads of various government agencies and representatives of different sectors.

The proposed measure also taps the Philippine Statistics Authority for the education mapping and statistics.