Top industry and academe leaders express support behind K-12 reform

In a discussion with the media last October 7, the National Industry-Academe Council (NIAC) called on the government to be accountable for ensuring a smooth transition to the new K-12 basic education system.

“The additional years of schooling is seen to have a positive impact on wages and the economy’s annual GDP growth,” said Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, President of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges and the Mindanao University of Science and Technology

“The new K-12 curriculum helps our students acquire knowledge, learn skills, and form values that will be beneficial to them, whether they choose to go to college, work or even start their own businesses after high school,” added Dr. Jose Paulo Campos, President of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAPSCU).

The NIAC discussed certain benefits of the reform, which include:

  1. System enhancement,
  2. College-ready students,
  3. Career-ready students,
  4. Globally competitive graduates,
  5. Increased demand for quality faculty,
  6. Lower unemployment and higher wages, and
  7. Over-all economic growth and social inclusion

The Council suggested ways for the government to improve the implementation of the K-12 system, especially for its target of full nationwide implementation by 2016. Some of these include facilitating dialogues between various agencies and other interest groups to discuss issues and explore interventions and assistance measures, and creating a unified transition fund in view of the expected losses that will be incurred during the transition.

The NIAC also recommended that the government expedite its process of allowing schools to offer standalone senior high school programs in order to encourage participation of schools.

Facilitated by Philippine Business for Education, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development mission in the Philippines, the National Industry-Academe Council brings together leaders from both industry and academe in order to raise industry involvement in higher and technical education. It was formed to create a short- to medium-term agenda centered on addressing the perennial mismatch between the demands of the industry and the graduates of the academe. Specifically, the NIAC will be working on involving industry in higher education curriculum improvement, national and local human resource planning and development, and accessibility to market information across various sectors.

Furthermore, the NIAC has identified the following education reform areas:

  1. Capacitating and facilitating industry participation in higher education development;
  2. Improving the access to market information to allow students and parents to make better and informed choices in choosing careers and schools; and
  3. Improved governance through working and coordinating with involved government agencies such as the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Professional Regulation Commission.

It is co-chaired by Ramon del Rosario, Jr., President of PHINMA Corporation and Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, President of the Ateneo de Manila University. Its co-vice chairs are Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Ayala Corporation and Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, President of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology and PASUC.