While the government is expected to launch the Updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 which will have a strong focus on reversing damage to the education and labor sectors, Senator Win Gatchalian is also seeking the formulation of a national education agenda to help aid the country’s post-pandemic recovery. The COVID-19-induced community quarantine caused schools to remain closed and income levels to fall sharply due to unemployment.
Gatchalian’s proposal is articulated in Senate Bill No. 1526 or the National Education Council (NEDCO) Act, which is anchored on national development plans such as establishing the country’s road map for improving education through institutionalized coordination and harmonization of policies on critical issues among the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Under the proposed measure, the NEDCO takes into account the real demand of the labor market and the needs of the industry, an integrated curriculum that will deliver the desired education goals, priorities, and outcomes, and a K to 12 graduates employment plan that ensures a job-skills match between senior high school graduates vis-a-vis the qualifications and needs of the government and the private sector.
Should the proposed measure become a law, Gatchalian said that the NEDCO’s most immediate task would be to craft a national education agenda that will reverse the pandemic’s damage and address the weaknesses that the health crisis aggravated, including the digital divide and the need to improve quality in education.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), more than 28 million learners from pre-primary to tertiary levels were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang muling pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon ay nangangailangan ng isang matatag na planong pagbubuklurin ang DepEd, TESDA, at CHED sa pagpapatupad ng mga kinakailangang reporma. Kung mananatiling kulang ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa pagitan ng tatlong ahensyang ito, hindi natin mabibigyan ng sapat na pagtututok ang mga hamon sa edukasyon na kailangan nating tugunan,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.