/ 19 November 2021

IN A bid to evaluate the performance and boost the global competitiveness of the education sector, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian will push for a substitute bill for the proposed Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM2).

EDCOM 2 aims to review the mandates of the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for a more harmonized and coordinated education ecosystem. It will also look at the role of digital transformation in education.

“Given the fact that labor markets are becoming increasingly global and workers are able to move from one place to another, quality does not simply equate to meeting locally set standards anymore. Quality now equates to being globally competitive,” Gatchalian said.

“Employment mobility is becoming the norm now. Access and exposure to the internet can get one employed in other countries,” he added.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said EDCOM 2 must address the question on how the country can ensure the competitiveness of higher education graduates.

For Gatchalian, boosting the global competitiveness of graduates requires aligning the country’s qualifications framework to internationally recognized standards.

He pointed out how the Philippine Qualifications Framework was designed to align with the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework.

This is to ensure that graduates are equipped with competencies and skills that would make them globally competitive.

Republic Act 10968 institutionalized the PQF to describe the levels of educational qualifications and set standards for qualification outcomes.

The PQF is a quality assured national system for the development, recognition, and awards of qualification based on standards of knowledge, skills, and values acquired in different ways and methods by workers and learners of the country.

Gatchalian said that in the draft substitute bill on EDCOM 2, the commission will be tasked to ensure compliance to the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework, which enables comparisons of education qualifications across participating Asean Member States.