OPS: Marcos supports curriculum review to address jobs mismatch

The Office of the Press Secretary assured President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is fully supportive of proposals to have the country’s education curriculum reviewed to equip students with skills required by industries and address job mismatch.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, in a statement, said concerns about workers’ skills, competencies, and the way the Philippines produces its graduates were raised during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“The suggestions to address these standing issues include a reform of the current curriculum since the rise of automation has posed a threat to many jobs,” Angeles said.

The President presided over the meeting via teleconferencing since he is still in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19. He told his Cabinet that basic education skills and knowledge must be improved to prepare students for their chosen careers.

“We have to look at the curriculum as well. Not only of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), but also even our diploma courses,” he said.

In his PowerPoint presentation, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual underscored the need for a review of the country’s curriculum, particularly in basic and tertiary education. He said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is ramping up efforts to help universities develop micro-credentialing systems to catch up with fast-changing technological advancements.

“We’re developing or helping universities develop this system of micro-credentialing because technology is changing very fast. There is a need for workers to update themselves, to reskill or upskill,” he explained.

Pascual cited the case of the National University of Singapore which offers short but focused on certain technology and awards students with micro-credential, which is similar to a diploma or certificate for a short course.

The DTI secretary also suggested the need for the Philippines to send Filipino teachers abroad for training. “Vietnam, for example, sends teachers to the United States and Europe for advanced studies,” he said.

To address the current job mismatch, Pascual said the DTI should collaborate closely with the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and TESDA.

“We will also collaborate with these authorities on the skills development, re-skilling and up-skilling of Philippine workforce through our own Philippine Skills Framework,” Pascual said.