Message of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda Education Capability Seminars for the Department of Education Supervisors of Antique

September 29, 2020

At the outset, allow me to extend my warmest greetings to all the Officers of the Schools Division of Antique led by Mrs. Lisa Beriong and the District Supervisors of Antique who have been chosen to attend this seminar, organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines through the Center for Governance – Operations Management Office. 

I am particularly pleased that this seminar, turned webinar, is finally implemented.  This is part of the capability building program that I funded when I was still Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance.  I have been supporting similar programs for other government agencies and I wanted my kasimanwa to also benefit from vital learning opportunities that will not only add to your leadership skills but, more importantly, also translate to the development of our own education sector in Antique.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken each and every one of us by surprise, and has forced us to rethink how we carry out our lives, disrupting our traditional ways of existence and practices.

In the field of education alone, we are now in a reboot mode, so to speak, as we seek innovative ways to ensure that high quality education is still imparted to the younger generation. An increased premium is now placed on technology advancements, gadgets and the internet, and yet, the main question is, are our teachers ready and armed with the necessary skills to adapt to the new Industrial Revolution?

Digital technologies are developing at a speed that we cannot cope up with and this is what Education 4.0 puts forth: a rethinking of our traditional educational models, adapting to the current digital landscape. 

The World Economic Forum early this year released a report titled Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which details a framework for education amid the new economic and social context, citing schools all over the world that have been pioneers in their methods of teaching and educating. For instance, child’s play has played a pivotal role in educating students in Zhejiang, China, acknowledging the fact that any setting can be a locus for teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the South Tapiola School in Finland incorporates entrepreneurship in its programs, even encouraging its students to create their own businesses and join competitions. Through these examples, which steer away from the traditional memorization of concepts, the WEF paper calls for a way of rethinking business as usual in education, urging for educational systems to veer towards the “reskilling of skills” of the younger generation, which center on the development of global citizenship skills, innovation and creativity skills, technology skills and interpersonal skills. 

As principal author of the Innovation Law, I have always noted the great import that innovation will play, not only in our daily social interaction, but most importantly, in our development frameworks. Having been signed into law last year, the law mandates the creation of the National Innovation Council (NIC) that will establish the country’s vision and long-term goals for innovation and provide a roadmap and strategies for improving innovation governance through clear-cut delineation and complementation of innovation efforts across agencies; deepening and accelerating innovation efforts, including inclusive innovation programs that are targeting the poorest of the poor; and ultimately aims to promote a culture of strategic planning and innovation to encourage creative thinking and knowledge creation and dissemination towards expanding and maintaining economic competitiveness; improve innovation governance in the country and compel the adoption of a long-term vision and focused priorities for innovation.

It is good to hear that the Philippines is ranked 50th this year in the Global Innovation Index, having improved its position by 4 notches in 2019. This goes to show that we are taking this Industrial Revolution seriously, and our educators should not be left behind.

Now is the time to harness the power of this triad: innovation, science and technology, applying it  to all aspects of our lives. May this seminar provide you with the skills to innovate, and may we leave these virtual halls with a more open mind, armed with the wherewithal to join the ranks of innovators, educators and creators, who are inspired to move forward and make a difference. 

Thank you and good day to all of you!