The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said the Australian Government has reinforced its commitment to Philippine education reform through a P98.7 million support.
With PBEd as their chosen partner, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu PSM said, “We will support the Philippines to achieve an education system that provides the skills and knowledge needed for future jobs.”
“Australia believes that quality education is key to a prosperous and productive nation,” the Australian envoy said, noting that they have been a “longstanding” partner to the Philippines and “strong supporter” of the country’s education reform goals.
To help address skills gaps and unemployment, the Australian Government and PBEd said they will work on four focus areas: senior high school curriculum improvement, industry involvement in skills development, improving teacher quality, and enhancing education data collection and assessments.
On reviewing and revising the K to 12 curriculum, PBEd and the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre, a joint venture between Australia’s University of Melbourne and the University of the Philippines (UP) will work together to support the plans of the Department of Education (DepEd).
“These reforms will be important for ensuring that graduates have adequate skills and are more employable,” PBEd said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
In terms of better aligning the skills of workers with the demands of the industry, PBEd said A Future That Works, its workforce development program which is supported by the Australian Government, will “continue its existing efforts by establishing more Sector Skills Councils to undertake labor market studies.”
Meanwhile, to improve teacher quality, PBEd said it will support the Australia-backed Research Centre for Teacher Quality, which it said is a partnership between the University of New England and the Philippine Normal University.
The education reforms advocacy group stressed that the partnership will “further develop competencies of teachers and school leaders in curriculum and instruction, expand career progression for teachers, and strengthen the Teacher Education Council that looks into pre-service teacher education reforms.”
As for enhancing education data collection, PBEd said it will also support DepEd to improve another Australia-backed initiative—the Enhanced Basic Education Information System and Learner Information System.
This system, the advocacy group noted, serves as the “primary source” of Philippines education data on students, teachers, and schools. Further, PBEd said this collaboration will “enhance” DepEd planning and decision-making.
For her part, PBEd Executive Director Justine Raagas underscored the role of quality education in having a “productive” future workforce.
“Nation-building starts with quality education. An integrated approach to education reforms, starting from elementary school, is crucial for a seamless and foundational building block for a productive future workforce,” Raagas said.
The PBEd official noted that the Australian Government and PBEd are collaborating to find “concrete” solutions towards improved learning and employability in the Philippines. -30-