To improve the harmonization of policies between the three education sub-sectors of the country, Senator Win Gatchalian has refiled a bill that seeks to create the National Education Council (NEDCO).
Senate Bill No. 2017 or the National Education Council Act creates the NEDCO to institutionalize a system of national coordination, planning, monitoring, evaluation, and management among the three education sub-sectors namely the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The proposed measure seeks the formulation of a national education agenda, which shall be anchored on national development plans. It shall establish, among others, the country’s strategic vision for education, long-term and medium-term goals, strategies for a coordinated and coherent implementation, and recommendations on the corresponding investments and appropriations.
The NEDCO’s powers and functions will include the implementation of an action agenda for the development of the country’s capacity for, and success in education as measured by indices and measures such as the National Achievement Test, Programme for International Student Assessment, Education Index, Education for All Development Index, and others it may deem appropriate in measuring growth and development of the education sector.
Under the proposed measure, the President will be the Chairperson of NEDCO while the DepEd Secretary, CHED Chairperson, and TESDA Director-General will serve as Co-Chairpersons. Other members of the Council will include the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and selected members of the cabinet.
In reviving his proposal to create the NEDCO, Gatchalian recalled that the 1991 Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) recommended the creation of a coordinating body following the tri-focalization of the country’s education system. While tri-focalization led to greater focus and depth in sub-sectors’ planning and implementation of development programs, the Presidential Commission on Educational Reform (PCER) created in 1998 flagged how it resulted in possible overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies in and non-alignment of policies, plans, and programs.
“Sa pamamagitan ng ating panukalang bumuo ng National Council for Education, mapapaigting natin ang ugnayan sa iba’t ibang tanggapan ng pamahalaan upang maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa ating bansa,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
The bill further provides that the national education agenda shall have a minimum of five (5)-year horizon, to be updated annually and reviewed periodically by the NEDCO.