/ 1 May 2023

THE TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority concluded the three-day Manila Skills Experts’ Meeting on emerging Extended Reality technologies which kicked off on April 18.

The event was organized in partnership with the Inter-Agency Council for the Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, the European Training Foundation and other local and international stakeholders.

TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz said the meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to work multilaterally and for them to review the emerging XR technologies and solutions to identify areas for potential adoption in the Philippines.

The meeting presented innovative XR-enabled solutions for technical and vocational education and training delivery, lifelong learning and skills development. Stakeholders also discussed how best to apply these solutions in the Philippine context.

Present during the meeting were high-level public policymakers, local lifelong learning -focused authorities, TVET and academia experts, industry representatives and XR technology developers.

Cezar Dragutan, SfP-Philippines Chief Technical Advisor, said that the TVET and skills systems must ensure that uneven access to equipment, tools and skills will not marginalize disadvantaged groups and worsen the digital divide.

The three-day activity included a one-day “hackathon” for the participants to draw up action-oriented technology solutions to challenges.

“TESDA continues to respond to the challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As such, we are doing this kind of collaboration with the local and international stakeholders to make sure that our programs and services are responsive to the technological advancements,” Cruz said.

Alistair White, the British Deputy Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, said that as levels of investment in EdTech across the globe continue to increase, the UK recognizes the importance of evidence-based and strategic engagement with EdTech to advance the future of learners, especially young women and girls and those from marginalized groups.

He emphasized that EdTech investments should be made in ways that lead to gains in learning outcomes and stronger education systems that address existing inequalities.

“Edtech has become an important part of learning. The UK is proud to support the TESDA and the whole-of-government initiative of the Inter-Agency Council for Development and Competitiveness of Philippine Digital Workforce to provide Filipinos access to lifelong learning technologies to acquire digital skills that make them job-ready,” White said.