/ 7 July 2021

Senator Joel Villanueva on Tuesday sought closer collaboration among agencies involved in education so that the government will have a stronger and unified approach in addressing problems worsened by the pandemic.

Villanueva said the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Educational and Skills Development Administration should come up with one strategy on how to improve education.

He said DepEd, TESDA and CHED should work like three campuses of one school and not as three separate schools independent of each other.

“They were never meant to be three independent republics,” Villanueva said.

“While we have a ‘trifocalized’ setup in the education sector, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be operating like three classrooms with a firewall separating each,” he said.

He stressed the need for these agencies to be on the same page for seamless connection so that policies will not be fragmented.

“While we strengthen each education agency, we must see to it that cooperation remains the cornerstone of trifocalized education,” he said.

Villanueva made the call as the Senate committee on higher education, which he chairs, began hearing Senate Bill 1744 which seeks to amend the charter of CHED.

He said CHED’s mandates have evolved through the years, with new ones, like the Free Tuition Law, imposed by Congress.

But amending the CHED’s charter, Villanueva pointed out, should go hand in hand with other education reforms.

Among the efforts to reform the country’s education system includes conducting a comprehensive study under a congressional oversight committee which the lawmaker is pushing with four other senators.