THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is putting together an education task force to draft policy recommendations to the government to address gaps in the education system that were exposed during the pandemic.

The country’s largest business group said in a statement Monday that the task force will hold its first meeting this week to review the state of the education sector.

The task force’s policy paper will describe the state of education and will make recommendations on qualifications, curricula, teacher competency, and institutional reform.

Task force members will include 12 “recognized experts,” PCCI said, along with the industry group’s representatives. Members include representatives from universities and education groups like the Association of Local Colleges and Universities, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, and the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges, gaps, and deficiencies of our educational system.  Now is the best time that we sit down and seriously discuss these gaps and provide solutions that would make the system at par with other countries,” PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico said.

The Philippines last year inched up one spot to 48th out of 63 economies in the IMD World Competitiveness Center’s World Talent Ranking 2020 report, an annual league table seeking to gauge countries’ ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce.

The Program for International Students Assessment report released in 2019 showed the Philippines ranked last in reading comprehension and second-lowest in science and mathematics among 79 countries. — Jenina P. Ibañez