SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian is set to file the substitute bill on the proposed Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2).

Said bill will undertake a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the entire education sector’s performance, and boost global competitiveness.

EDCOM 2 will review the observance of the mandates of the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as well as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA, 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,” said Gatchalian in a roundtable discussion hosted by the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies. “Quality now equates to being globally competitive.”

He added: “Employment mobility is becoming the norm now. Access and exposure to the Internet can get one employed in other countries.”

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said EDCOM 2 must address the question: How do we ensure that higher-education graduates are globally competitive?

For Gatchalian, boosting global competitiveness among the country’s graduates requires aligning the country’s qualifications framework with internationally recognized qualification standards. The senator pointed out the way the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) was designed to be in sync with the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework. This ensures graduates are equipped with competencies and skills that would make them globally competitive.

Under Republic Act 10968, or the PQF Act, the framework was institutionalized and established to describe the levels of educational qualifications, as well as 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 various ways and methods by workers and learners of the country.

Gatchalian said that in the draft substitute bill on EDCOM 2,CHED will be tasked to ensure compliance to the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework, which enables comparisons of education qualifications across participating member-states in the region.

Image courtesy of Mark Cayabyab

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