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Dedicated agency proposed to upgrade educational qualifications

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PHILSTAR

THE Government-Academe-Industry Network (GAIN) is backing the establishment of an agency that will oversee national educational qualifications and bring them up to par with international standards.

In a roundtable discussion with media on Friday, GAIN President Monette M. Iturralde-Hamlin said that the nonprofit organization will be lobbying lawmakers to consider the idea of an agency that will administer and overlook the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF).

“We need to have this unified agency so that the qualifications in the Philippines will be recognized in other countries and be globally competitive,” she said.

According to Republic Act 10968 or the PQF Act, a PQF National Coordinating Council (PQF NCC) is tasked to oversee the qualifications framework. Ms. Iturralde-Hamlin said that other countries have their own separate government agencies dedicated to this role.

She cited the need to bring the Philippine qualifications framework in line with the ASEAN Qualification Reference Network (AQRF).

“We found out that other countries are much more advanced in implementing it because they have one unified agency that implements it. In Philippines, we only have a council. Agencies need to have (appropriate authority) for something to happen,” she said.




The PQF NCC is composed of representatives from Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

“The council is tasked with so many things but who’s going to do the work? For something to happen, you need to have an organization and people to do it. You need a budget and you need someone to lead it, organize it, measure it,” she said.

Ms. Iturralde-Hamlin added that the proposal for a dedicated agency is part of GAIN’s program in partnership with other stakeholders aiming to upgrade English language proficiency standards and digital literacy. — Gillian M. Cortez