The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in collaboration with Export Development Council (EDC), Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business and the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) held the 4th National Education Forum (NEF) on 29 August 2014 at the Augusto Rosario Theater of DLS-CSB, Taft Ave., Manila.
The NEF is an annual activity of the PCCI Education Committee which aims to upgrade and develop the standard of education in the basic, tertiary, and technical-vocational sectors.
With this year’s theme, "Business Education: Responding to the Challenges of the Work Environment," 4th NEF aims to enhance competitiveness by emphasizing academic, technical-vocational and entrepreneurial aptitude.
Mr. Donald G. Dee, PCCI Honorary Chairman and COO in his welcome remarks stressed that “PCCI has been rallying the local and national business sectors to provide the much needed logistical support for sustained continuing programs for training, skills upgrading and creation of employment opportunities for our graduates. It has committed to champion the cause of global competitiveness through a coherent and consistent education reform and gainful employment agenda.”
He added that PCCI is implementing a project which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to create a pool of qualified, competent and job-ready workforce to contribute to the productivity and sustainability of enterprises and to the employment generation and poverty reduction goals of the government.
He also stressed that, “with the forthcoming AEC 2015, we have to make sure that we produce graduates that are competitive, or even better, than our ASEAN counterparts or else we risk being left behind again.”
Dr. Ruperto S. Sangalang, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) served as the Keynote Speaker of the forum. In his speech, Dr. Sangalang emphasized the need for our education institution to be world class to be able to compete in the global arena citing the low performance of graduates in various licensure examinations and the low level of education of faculty members. He added that aside from funding resource, leadership is key is assuring the success and competitiveness of our educational institutions.
Dr. Eduardo Ong, Chairman of the PCCI Education Committee presented the NEF’s recommendations for a competitive human resource:
- Re-engineer primary education thrusts- meaning, basic infrastructure should be the foundation; standardization of pre-school curriculum must be undertaken matched with the development standards and competencies for early childhood care and development,;
- Reform the higher education system in partnership with the private sector;
- Strengthen industry-academe-government collaboration to address job-skills mismatch;
- Maximize use of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) under ASEAN
- Invest and promote innovation
The forum was attended by more than two hundred fifty (250) professionals in the field of academe and industry from all over Luzon to Mindanao.