The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks the creation of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II). For Senator Win Gatchalian, this is a crucial step forward in addressing the country’s education crisis and preventing the collapse of the education system.
Under Senate Bill No. 2485, the EDCOM II will be tasked to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector. The purpose of the review is to recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms in the sector to make the Philippines an intellectual power in Asia.
The national assessment and evaluation will review how mandates are observed under the laws that created the three education sub-sectors: Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The same assessment will also identify factors that have contributed to the continuing failure in learner performance on identified subject areas to meet the desired international and local standards. It will also recommend specific, targeted and time-bound solutions to improve the performance of education sectors in relation to measurable indicators.
The proposed Commission will be composed of 10 members—five from the Senate and five from the House of Representatives. The members from the Senate will be the Chairpersons of the following committees: Basic Education, Arts and Culture; Higher, Technical and Vocational Education; Finance; Science and Technology; and Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.
From the Lower House, the members will be the Chairpersons of the following committees: Basic Education and Culture; Higher and Technical Education; Appropriations; Science and Technology; and Labor and Employment.
The Commission shall accomplish its mandate within two years from its organization. A Technical Secretariat, which shall co-exist with the Commission, will exist for another two years after the duration of EDCOM II to provide administrative oversight on the Commission’s policy recommendations. State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) will serve as the research arm of the Commission.
“Napapanahon na ang pagkakaroon ng EDCOM II upang masuri ang mga hamong hinaharap ng sektor ng edukasyon. Mahalaga ito upang maipanukala natin ang mga kinakailangang reporma na mag-aangat sa kalidad ng edukasyong ibinibigay natin sa ating mga kabataan,” said Gatchalian, sponsor and co-author of the measure.