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Gatchalian seeks creation of National Education Council for a more cohesive education agenda

To address what he considers the lack of a cohesive and long-term vision in education, Senator Win Gatchalian pushed anew his proposal to create the National Education Council (NEDCO) which will develop the national education agenda and strengthen coordination among the country’s three education agencies: the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

To decentralize governance in the basic education sector, Senator Win Gatchalian proposed anew to strengthen the involvement of local government units in improving the quality of basic education. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

“The world, skills, and demands of industries are changing, so we need a cohesive vision on where we want education to go and that’s what we are thinking of legislating: to create that body so that when it comes to education, we are all headed in the same direction,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education.

Under Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 2017, the NEDCO is mandated to institutionalize a system of national coordination in the planning, monitoring, evaluation, implementation, and management of the national education agenda to ensure coherent strategic direction by the DepEd, CHED, and TESDA, and to avoid possible overlaps, gaps, and inconsistencies that may result from non-alignment of policies, plans, and programs.

To help improve learners’ performance, the NEDCO’s other functions shall also include, among others, the implementation of an action agenda to help the country succeed in education as measured by the National Achievement Test, Programme for International Student Assessment, Education Index, Education for All Development Index, and other indices and measures.

Despite the creation of bodies such as the National Coordinating Council for Education (NCCE) under Executive Order (EO) No. 273 s. 2000 and the Presidential Task Force to Assess, Plan and Monitor the Entire Educational System under EO No. 652 s. 2007, the country’s education system has not delivered the outcomes it sought under tri-focalization, Gatchalian said.

The senator recalled that the 1991 Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) recommended splitting the country’s education bureaucracy and the tri-focalization of the country’s education system. The 1991 EDCOM also proposed the creation of a national council on education to ensure coherence between the policies of the three education sub-sectors.