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Philippines EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Dominador P. Peralta, Jr.


Director IV Commission on Higher Education, Region V, Legazpi City, PHILIPPINES (Paper presented at the UNU-APEC Education Network Invitational Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, in Japan on August 24-30, 2004)

INTRODUCTION Since the Earth Summit in1992, sustainable development has been focused on political agenda and the education was not well reflected in the strategies towards SD and education was not defined as one of the stakeholder groups. However, during the World Summit on SD in 2002, the education and educators were recognized as essential elements of the progress towards SD. During the UN General Assembly in December 2002, the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development it was decided to start in January 2005 with UNESCO as the lead agency for the DESD. The Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21) is the countrys response to fulfill its commitments in the historic Earth Summit in 1992. Government and key sectors of society agreed to implement an action agenda for sustainable development. The key actors are the government, business and civil society with the three realms of modern society, namely: economy (where the key actor is business), polity (where the key actor is government) and culture (where the key actor is civil society). Sustainable development means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs, as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development, but its application must be rooted in the context of national realities and aspirations. Section 1: Overview of ESD a. Brief description of the National Educational System The Philippine Educational System has a 6-4-4 structure, that is, six years of elementary or primary education (some private schools require seven years), four years of higher school or secondary education, and another four years of higher or tertiary education for a degree program (except for some courses like engineering and Medical Sciences which require five or more years of schooling). Higher education is divided into collegiate, masters and doctorate levels in various programs or disciplines. Foreign students are allowed to pursue higher education in some 150 colleges and universities in the Philippines. The responsibility of administering, supervising and regulating basic (elementary and secondary education) is vested in the Department of Education (DepEd) while the higher education is with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The postsecondary technical-vocational is under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which is also in charge of skills orientation, training, and development of out-of-school youth and unemployed community adults.

b. Government policy on ESD The right to education is enshrined in the Constitution. Article XIV, Section 1 of the Constitution guarantees this right, which states:: The state shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all. It is a vowed policy of the State in pursuit of its key objectives of global competitiveness and poverty alleviation, to bring about sustainable development, for the benefit of present and future generations of Filipinos. The government is committed to the operationalization of the Global Program of Action for Sustainable Development (Agenda 21) which was adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, and which the Philippines is a signatory. Philippine Agenda (PA) 21 envisions a better quality of life for all through the development of a just, moral, creative, spiritual, economically vibrant, caring, diverse yet cohesive society characterized by appropriate productivity, participatory and democratic processes and living in harmony within the limits of the carrying capacity of nature and the integrity of creation. The PA 21 adheres to the following principles of sustainable development: primarily of developing human potential; holistic science and appropriate technology; cultural, moral and spiritual sensitivity; self-determination; national sovereignty; gender sensitivity; peace, order and national unity; social justice and inter-, Intra-generational and spatial equity; participatory democracy; institutional viability; viable, sound and broad based economic development; sustainable population; ecological soundness; biogeographical equity and community based resource management; and global cooperation. c. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Vision The Higher Education system of the Philippines serves as a key player in the education and integral formation of professionally competent, service-oriented, principled and productive citizens. Through its tri-fold function of teaching, research and extension services, it becomes a prime mover of the nations socio-economic growth and sustainable development. Mission Guided by this vision and under the leadership of CHED, a dynamic and facilitative organization staffed by qualified and service-oriented personnel, higher education institutions that comprise the system shall: a. offer programs and services that meet the demands of an industrializing economy within the context of sustainable development and a culture of peace, as well as the challenges of a diverse and globalized society; b. nurture an academic environment that fosters integrated learning, creative and critical thinking, appreciation of cultural diversity and national identity, and inculcates moral values; c. conduct research to support instruction, create new knowledge, and enhance the quality of life in society; and d. undertake extension programs and services that facilitate the transfer of technology, foster leadership and promote self-reliance among the less privileged in Philippine Society.

Goals The following thrusts of the CHED with the specific goals are as follows: 1. Efficiency and Effectiveness a. Establish a policy and legal framework required for rationalization of the higher education system particularly the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) b. Strengthen complementation and productive partnerships between and among public and private HEIs, and between education and other sectors. c. Ensure optimal returns from the utilization of higher education resources 2. Quality and Excellence a. Offer quality undergraduate and graduate education programs with standards comparable with those offered by leading international Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). b. Become a regional knowledge center in the Asia-Pacific region in selected disciplines particularly in areas where Philippine HEIs have a distinctive competitive edge 3. Relevance and Responsiveness a. Generate, adapt and disseminate knowledge that equips graduates with competencies, values and skills vital in a dynamically-changing domestic and international environment b. Utilize state-of-the-art and appropriate information and communication technology and other innovations in education 4. Access and Equity Provide deserving and qualified Filipinos opportunities for affordable quality tertiary programs and services. Strategic Directions For the 1st five years, the higher education system focused on systemic reform and strengthening in order to enhance its capability to respond to national demands and international challenges. During the 2nd half of the planning decade, the thrust shall be on the emplacement and operationalization of structures, policies and programs to ensure the systems performance as knowledge center in selected disciplines. d. Present status of ESD-related activities in both formal, non-formal and informal education 1. Education for Sustainable Development formal education All higher education programs like Agricultural and Fisheries Education, Engineering, Architecture, Law, Criminology Business, Accountancy and Entrepreneurship, Maritime Education, Information and Technology Education, Health Education and Teacher Education are contributory to the attainment of sustainable development. The

implementation of these programs entails building a culture among people; it is as much a matter of inculcating values and shaping attitudes as it is imparting knowledge and developing skills. Emphasis be placed on its affective and ethical goals, which inculcates at the very least, developing love, respect and a sense of personal responsibility for nature and humanity. Activities include: Outreach program to address not only environment concerns, but social equity as well. Students, faculty and administrators provide poor families with housing, livelihood opportunities, education and other social services. The Center for Service and Sharing provides poor residents of communities around the school with opportunities to augment their family income. PACEM Eco-Park is a project of Assumption Antipolo, which promotes concern for the environment. It features an ecology center, mini-forest, butterfly garden and butterfly museum, aviary and wildlife sanctuary, herbal garden and organic farm. The school integrates environmental education in the curriculum and environment-friendly practices are adopted on campus especially as these relate to sustainable solid waste management and energy efficiency. Ecology camps are held for students. Seminars on ecology creation spirituality are given to administrators and faculty. The students of the school also participate in undertakings aimed at building in them a sense of personal responsibility for the survival of the planet, such as the Adopt A Piece of the Planet Project, where each class takes care of a particular spot in campus. P.E.A.C.E.- Public Education and Awareness Campaign for the Environment project of the Miriam College where the school works to promote environmental concern in the school, community and in communities around the school. Miriam College is home to the Environmental Education Center, which gives seminars and workshops on environmental themes and issues. The school integrates environmental education in the curriculum and offers baccalaureate degree programs in environmental science and environmental chemistry; masters program in environmental studies, environmental management, and environmental education; and a doctorate program in environmental studies. Children and Peace Philippines is an organization at the Philippine Womens University, which addresses peace. It has been working to spread a culture of peace in their schools and their communities. They have been involved in peace education and advocacy for more than 10 years now, conducting workshops with children and other young people, in an effort to replace the prevailing culture of violence with a culture of peace and hope. There are many other school programs and activities that help the environment, with their most common activities being tree-planting, recycling drives, and beautification. 2. ESD in Non-formal education The National Policies on Literacy / Non-formal Education have their legal bases, as follows: a. The 1987 Philippine Constitution Article 14, section 2 provides that the State shall encourage non-formal, informal and indigenous learning system, as well as selflearning independent, and out-of-school study programmes particularly those that respond to community needs.

b The Education for All Philippine Plan of Action (EFA-PPA) Emphasizes the need to develop non-formal literacy and continuing education programmes especially to meet the educational needs of the poor and underserved communities. c. Republic Act 7165 states that it is the policy of the State to give highest priority to the adoption of measures for the total eradication of illiteracy. d. Administrative Order No. 116, signed by former President of the Republic of the Philippines, mandated all government agencies and local government units to support the Non-formal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E) System. The Commission on Higher Education has to participate in several activities in nonformal education, such as: KALAHI or Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan is the administrations overarching program for a focused, accelerated, convergent, expanded, and strategic effort to reduce poverty. All government poverty reduction programs are anchored on t KALAHI. Extension programs of the Higher Education Institutions that addressed community needs of the elderly, mothers, disabled and handicapped, children and other residents of the community. 3. ESD in Informal Education The Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) is an alternative modality in higher Education, where an individuals knowledge, skills, attitudes and values obtained from relevant work experiences are assessed thus giving one an appropriate academic degree. e. Challenges, constraints and opportunities At the beginning of the new century, higher education faces a set of pervasive challenges and opportunities brought about by the changing global economic and social conditions. The closing years of the 20th century were characterized by knowledge explosion, scientific breakthrough, and technological advancement, particularly in information and communication, and rapid technology diffusion. ICT (Information and Communcation Technology). The phenomenal advance in information and communication technologies has created new business opportunities and brought about major changes in the way people live, learn, think, work and do business, and in their relations with each other. ICTs have linked communities across the globe, broken down economic and cultural barriers between peoples, and made possible the freer and faster mobility of goods, information, people and capital across nations. These are paving the way towards regional and global integration and the emergence of a borderless world or global village. The advantages offered by ICTs are: the capability to remove barriers of space and time in learning; to open up the different languages and cultures of the world; and to create a more equitable learning environment. ICTs provide a means for overcoming historically intractable problems of isolation and lack of access to information and knowledge, crucial impediments to educational and socioeconomic development. ICTs have reshaped the educational landscape by transforming the content and modes of delivery/acquisition of learning as well as how the educational institutions operate. For students, ICT offer many choices in the acquisition of knowledge, competencies and skills, access to real world and up-to-date information and opportunities

to experience learning throughout their lives. Libraries from other parts of the world can now be accessed, courses are offered online, and distance education has taken on greater importance. The new technologies and strategies for borderless education could be implemented only if there is management and leadership support from the university administration and the government. Other factors required to ensure the success of borderless education programs in the Asia-Pacific Region is the wider use of English as a medium of instruction because English is the language of ICT, and the possession of computer literacy and information technology skills as the quality of content or knowledge base. Professionals from various disciplines and education will thus have to re-think the way in which instruction can be delivered, including selection of the right kind of technology, prescription of the contents of education, and definition of the right outcomes. The adoption of said technologies and the concomitant educational reforms, moreover, leads to the necessity of maintaining certain balances: a balance between technological modernity and cultural preservation - the local tradition and culture that gives each nation its unique identity must be preserved; and a balance between individual development and social cohesion - a reformed educational system that tries to develop self-esteem, creativity, and articulate communication must not neglect to foster a sense of community and social harmony among its students. Globalization. With the onset of regional and global integration, there is a need to prepare the countrys human resources, society and culture at large, for future liberalization of trade and commerce. Globalization and the growth of a global market for skilled people (advanced human capital) will mean easier access to expertise, skills, and knowledge embedded in professionals. It could also mean brain drain or loss of advanced human capital. Planners and policy-makers in higher education must recognize that industry is rapidly being redefined by the advent of a new breed of competitors who are providing competing products and services, and in some cases, substitute products and services. In a world that is rapidly shrinking due to globalization, universities need to forge strategic alliances to build up their size, resources and capabilities, and to enable them to combine their expertise and develop their synergic capabilities. Universities have to internationalize their operations to enable their students, faculty, administrators, and staff to become world citizens, perceiving themselves and their role in life in a more cosmopolitan way that acknowledges the growing interdependence of nationalities and cultures. Knowledge-Based Economy. Rapid developments in infrastructural technologies such as ICT, biotechnology and advanced materials technology, among others, are propelling nations towards knowledge-based economy, the distinguishing feature of which is the pervasive presence of knowledge as both an input and output throughout the economy. In the KBE, the ability to produce wealth depends largely on the effective management of knowledge or the organizational capability to create, acquire, accumulate, disseminate, and exploit information and knowledge. Among the identified preconditions for promoting KBE are: pervasive innovation and technological change supported by an effective national innovation system, and pervasive human resource development. These in turn require a strong network of research and development institutions and high-standard wide-spread education and training system.

For countries with modest R and D capacity like the Philippines, technologies could be acquired through various means machinery and equipment imports, foreign direct investments, use of foreign consultants/experts and others. But the acquisition of technologies developed elsewhere presupposes adequate education and skills base-the presence of a critical mass of skilled scientific and technical specialists to efficiently adapt and assimilate technologies for building competitiveness in high value added and skillsintensive products and services. Other than technical skills, another relevant skills is adaptability to the rapidly changing environment or intellectual flexibility the ability to unlearn and relearn to face the challenges resulting from changes in technology and in political and social conditions. This skill is developed mainly through a broad liberal education, which should be an integral part of human resource development towards KBE. In an APEC (2000) study and assessment of countries, the Philippines was classified together with Thailand as Asian Fast Follower, trailing behind the Most Developed Economics and the High Performing Asian Economies. The status as Fast Followers attributed to its weak innovative system and human resource base. In this regard, the country has built its economys skills base, started to modernize its physical infrastructures, and invested in strengthening its science and technological capabilities. Toward addressing the said weaknesses, the higher education system has: Built the base of engineering and scientific skills needed to make the countrys products and services competitive Produced manpower with broad liberal education armed with the ability to learn new knowledge and adapt to the fast changing environment Provided venues for high standard, lifelong education and professional retooling Developed and nurtured a culture of research that is urgently needed to enhance the innovation system of the country. Research is even taught starting in the basic education. Section 2: Regional Centers of Excellence on ESD (RCEs) In line with the thrust of education for sustainable development, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) adopted a project called the Centers of Excellence. It is an inherent mandate of the CHED as outlined in Republic Act 7722. The Education Commission (EDCOM) report of 1991 recommended the creation of the Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development to strengthen and further improve the quality of the COE/CODs to the level of our ASEAN neighbors and also for these COE/CODs to become a resource to strengthen other schools in their localities. The COE/CODs are also a resource to strengthen other schools in their localities. They are also envisioned to become centers of graduate education and research in their fields of strength. The initial implementation of the COE Project is nearing completion. A total of seven hundred sixty million (PhP760,000,000.00) has been released by the Commission to support one hundred four (104) COEs and one hundred sixty-one (161) CODs, a total of 265 HEIs. The COE project is now efficiently implemented by channeling limited resources on certain program areas that are needed to boost the countrys competitiveness in emerging cutting edge technologies and to further improve and sustain the quality of education.

The Commission through active deliberations has apportioned funds for the continuing financial support of the COE/CODs in the following areas: Agriculture applied biotechnology, medicinal plants research and plant breeding. Engineering microelectronics and semiconductor research. Information and Communications Technology software development, multimedia technologies and online learning and advanced communications technologies. Science and Mathematics genetics, materials science, biotechnology and marine science. Teacher Education AB/BSEd major in Mathematics, English and Science. COEs and CODs in other disciplines would still be identified however these COE/CODs will not be given financial assistance but instead will receive non-monetary benefits and privileges as may be identified by the Commission. COE/CODs Responsibilities and Minimum Expectations For all COEs with or without funding Act as role models/leaders in the local, regional and national community; Sustain and enhance research capabilities and upgrade professional or research graduate programs in the discipline; Provide assistance to agencies/institutions within its geographical area of coverage; undertake other activities/projects necessary in developing quality education in the specific discipline. Disciplines that will not be given financial assistance by the Commission have the discretion to identify or not to identify Centers of Development (CODs). For COEs and CODs with funding assistance Accelerate the development of the discipline through strategic developmental programs and projects; Develop instructional program quality through faculty development activities and upgrading of facilities and library holdings; Undertake basic and applied research activities on emerging trends and advancements in their field; Undertake extension and linkage projects through regional or national consortia agreements, internationalization activities and industry- academe collaborations. COD responsibilities and minimum expectations Develop their instructional programs through faculty development activities and upgrading of facilities and library holdings;

Establish linkages with COEs in the same discipline to further improve their capability to undertake research in the field. Section 3: Sustainable Production and Consumption To promote sustainable production and consumption, the following are special programs under the thrust of quality and excellence: Updating and Revision of Program and Institutional Standards 2001-2004 Several related projects are implemented towards raising Philippine standards for programs and institutions. These are: Benchmarking and comparative studies of policies, standards and guidelines of Asian, US and European universities in CHED priority areas; updating, revision and enforcement of standards for curricular programs; review of curricular content vis--vis licensure examinations; and, the codification of competencies of each profession. Centers of Excellence Project 1996-onward The Centers of Excellence project aims to identify institutions with qualities indicating excellence in instruction, research and extension. These institutions are supported by CHED to attain world-class levels. Through networking arrangements, identified Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development act as role models engaging in extension services in the national, regional and local community in the form of technology transfer, industry linkages development and sharing research resources, and financial assistance from other higher education institutions within their particular geographic and academic area. COEs and CODs are provided technical and financial assistance for student scholarships, faculty development, library and laboratory upgrading, research and extension services, instructional materials and networking. There are now 271 identified COEs/CODs in the different disciplines. Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development will continue to be developed particularly in the priority clusters of disciplines: information technology, science and mathematics, teacher education, and agriculture. National Agriculture and Fisheries Education System (NAFES) 1998-2002 The NAFES is part of the agricultural modernization program of the government pursuance of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (RA 8435) or AFMA. It is an integrated system of agriculture and fisheries education covering both public and private institutions in all levels of education. For higher education, NAFES comprises a network of accredited national centers of excellence in the field of agriculture and fisheries. Under the system, only a single National University/College of Agriculture and Fisheries in a region, and only a single Provincial Institute of Agriculture and Provincial Institute of Fisheries in a province shall be accredited. Non-accredited schools shall be allowed a maximum of five years to refocus their programs to non-agriculture and/or nonfisheries areas needed by the region or province. HEIs comprising the system shall develop user-sensitive agriculture-fishery courses and provide relevant research and extension services in support of the emerging new economy.

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Teacher Education Development Project (TEDP) 2004-2010 The TEDP is designed to improve the quality and relevance of teacher education programs and teacher training institutions in the country. The project is intended to ultimately raise the standards of pupil learning in the Philippine education system by addressing the policy, technical and managerial issues affecting teacher performance. Targets are existing COEs/CODs in teacher education and some 82 provincial teacher education institutions. Evaluation and Upgrading of Graduate Education Programs 2002-2003 The quality of graduate education is one of the priority key result areas of the CHED. To ensure compliance to existing policies and standards, higher education institutions offering graduate programs in teacher education and business education were initially assessed. Results of the evaluation will be published to help students make informed choices. These will also serve as basis for future action concerning other disciplines. National Higher Education Research Agenda (NHERA) 1998-2007 The National Higher Education Research Agenda provides the policies, strategies, priorities and procedures as well as guidelines on the research environment required to promote, encourage, and support research in Philippine colleges and universities. Specifically, it aims to support the following goals of research in higher education: Pushing the frontiers of knowledge; enhancing instruction for creativity, innovativeness, and productivity; and development of theories/models for technology advancement. The research priority areas in the NHERA are categorized according to a) disciplines, and b) other research emphases: Science and Technology Education Plan (STEP) 1994-2005 The Science and Technology Education Plan is a comprehensive plan of action developed through a consolidation of divergent efforts to raise the quality of science and education in the country. STEP 1,was formulated and implemented from 1994-1998 to make science and technology responsive to the countrys present and future requirements for sustainable economic and social development. STEP 2 has been implemented from 2001-2005. It is anchored on seven strategic thrusts: Upgrading Teacher Capabilities; Enhancing the Learning Environment; Reengineering the Assessment Procedure; Establishing a Quality Assurance System; Advocacy Agenda; Research Agenda; and Legislative Agenda. These thrusts will be pursued through the: (a) Establishment of more participatory implementation structures; (b) setting up of operational mechanisms that balance institutional responsibilities with the broad mandates of the plan; (c) more efficient matching of resources with intended activities and programs; and (d) formulation of operational policies that are more responsive to identified issues and concerns. STEP 2 also addresses emerging developments in science and mathematics by highlighting the unprecedented innovations and initiatives made in these fields to further advance S & T education in the country. Academic Exchange Programs 1995 onward

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The CHED has several programs aimed at establishing collaborative linkages with governments and institutions of higher learning outside the country for global recognition and mutual recognition of degrees. The CHED also administers foreign assistance projects, recipients of which are colleges and universities whose priorities are within the perimeters of donations stipulated by the donor countries. Twinning Programs, Academic Linkages, and Networking 2000 - onward Agreements have been reached to promote academic cooperation between the Philippines and such countries as Canada, Singapore, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia. These provide for academic exchanges, twinning programs, tie ups/linkages, and similar arrangements. International Practicum Training Program (IPTP) 1998 - onward The IPTP is a requirement of the courses BS Hotel and Restaurant Management and BS Tourism. Participants are exposed to foreign sociocultural environment, work attitude, and foreign corporate culture in the global realm of the hotel, restaurant, leisure business. CONCLUSION The essence of sustainable development is in the harmonious integration of a sound and viable economy, responsible governance, social cohesion/harmony and ecological integrity to ensure that development is a life-enhancing process. The ultimate aim of development is human development now and through future generations.

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