EMPOWERING PEOPLE THROUGH EDUCATION

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Alternative Learning System (ALS)

Priority proposals

  1. National consensus on the philosophy, vision, mission and objectives of ALS
  2. Rename and reconstitute Local School Boards into Local Basic Education Boards
  3. Service Contracting Act
  4. Upgrading/modernizing the art and science of ALS competency assessment
  5. Governance of ALS

Other proposals

  1. Research on better integration and systemization of Informal Education to larger ALS
  2. Monitoring of teacher competence and learner
  3. Strengthen coordination between Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS)
  4. Funding for ALS from Special Education Fund

B. Basic education

  1. Holistic Human Resources Development plan
  2. Quality of students
  3. Institutionalize use of mother tongue for Grades 1 and 2
  4. Increase allocation of education to 6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  5. Improve school governance

C. Higher education

Priority proposals

  1. Rationalization of Tuition and Other Fees
  2. Additional laws to implement International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention requirements
  3. Increase budget allocation for state universities and colleges
  4. Magna Carta of Students
  5. University of the Philippines (UP) Charter

Other proposals

  1. Comprehensive Adolescent Reproductive Health Code
  2. Resolution inquiring on the update of normative financing scheme implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
  3. Amendment of RA 8292 (Higher Education Modernization Act)
  4. Moratorium on the creation of new State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)
  5. Rationalizing policies of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on nursing
  6. Increase job opportunities for graduating students

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A. Alternative Learning System (ALS)

Priority proposals

1. National consensus on the philosophy, vision, mission and objectives of ALS

Dialogue with different stakeholders should be pursued to forge national agenda on ALS which would recognize it as a parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to existing formal education instruction. ALS providers should set standards, monitor and evaluate adult literacy outcomes. There should be consensus on the philosophy, vision, mission and objectives of ALS.

2. Rename and reconstitute Local School Boards into Local Basic Education Boards

Formal schooling remains dominant but efforts should be made to establish a constituency for ALS development. Local School Boards should be renamed as Local Basic Education Boards to highlight that educational activities are also possible outside the framework of the formal system and to subsume ALS in local development planning.

3. Service Contracting Act

This will strengthen ALS funding, ensure accreditation of ALS facilitators, integrate ALS framework/philosophy with the law, expand ALS networks, set standards and provide for service contracting.

4. Upgrading/modernizing the art and science of ALS competency assessment

There is need for uniform standards of teaching and use of instructional materials for ALS. Facilitators should determine length of time of ALS learners to improve quality of learning. A vigorous and credible system for reliably assessing, measuring, validating and communicating actual competencies acquired through informal means should be developed as well.

5. Governance of ALS

There is limited monitoring and supervision of ALS program by District Coordinators. Amending LCC law and clarifying LCC-ALS relation will improve governance of ALS in the country. This should be supported by a national framework for ALS both in the basic and higher levels of education.

Other proposals

1. Research on better integration and systemization of Informal Education to larger ALS

Increase awareness of ALS by integrating and systematizing informal education. Clarifying mandate of Bureau of Alternative Learning System will define its focus and limitations especially its relation in integrating informal education.

2. Monitoring of teacher competence and learner

There is very low passage rate in the Accreditation and Equivalency examination supervised by the Department of Education. This is a question of mismatch between what is taught and what is tested. There should be greater monitoring of teacher competence and learner to improve quality of learning in ALS.

3. Strengthen coordination between Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS)

TESDA and BALS should continue strengthening its coordination to improve alternative delivery of basic education, training of skills and enhancement of lifelong learning process. The two agencies should set standards for providers of ALS.

4. Funding for ALS from Special Education Fund

More than 16 million Filipinos are targeted beneficiaries of ALS programs yet government allots insufficient subsidy for ALS. There should be increased resource allocation for ALS. Local sources should be tapped. ALS should receive funding from Special Education Funds in the local level.

B. Basic education

1. Holistic Human Resources Development plan

This will improve quality of teaching and increase efficiency of supervisory and administrative personnel. System of meritocracy should be instituted to prevent politicized appointment of education officials and to foster continuity of leadership in the sector. Proper values should be instilled not only on teachers but to officials of the Department of Education as well. Evaluation of teachers’ salaries should be pursued and this should involve consultation and participation of stakeholders.

2. Quality of students

There are different approaches to improve quality of students. For example, education authorities should return entry age at Grade One to 7 years old since entry age of 6 is not effective. There is absence of bridging program to intermediate level therefore assessment tests for primary (Grade 4) to intermediate (Grade 6) should be restored. In many schools, values education was removed in the curriculum. This should be compensated by implementing values education programs. Finally, government should review and regulate textbook quality and delivery both in public and private schools.

3. Institutionalize use of mother tongue for Grades 1 and 2

The government mandates the use of English language as medium of instruction in schools. This is contrary to various studies confirming that the mother tongue is more effective medium of communication. Children learn faster if native language is used. Government should institutionalize use of mother tongue for Grades 1 and 2 to hasten learning of children.

4. Increase allocation of education to 6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Public investment for education remains inadequate to meet even basic requirements of education sector. Government should increase education subsidy that is comparable to other South-East Asian nations. At the minimum, education budget should be equivalent to 6 percent of GDP. Government should also reduce dependence on foreign funding for basic education projects. It should also look into foreign projects which were not maximized or were not fully implemented.

5. Improve school governance

School governance should be made more efficient. There should be Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) for education programs or projects. Initiative of local school officials should be encouraged to pursue creative solutions to education issues. There is need for clear IRR for BESRA.

C. Higher education

Priority proposals

1. Rationalization of Tuition and Other Fees

Higher education is becoming more costly each year. Tuition regulation policies of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) are inconsistent. In 2005, CHED issued a new memorandum requiring schools to consult students if they intend to increase tuition and other fees. Tuition ceiling based on prevailing inflation rate was also imposed. Early this year, CHED revoked this memorandum and implemented the old tuition guidelines which were favorable to school owners. To improve access to higher education, government should expand study now, pay later program. Congress should repeal Automatic Tuition Fee Act and review/amend RA 7722. Education Act of 1982 needs to be amended since it empowers private schools to determine the fees they will collect from students. Bill on Rationalization of Tuition and Other Fees should be enacted into law to regulate school fee increases. CHED should monitor schools’ compliance with the policy on incremental processes on tuition increase (70 percent for teachers’ salaries, 20 percent for improvement of school facilities and 10 percent for school profit).

2. Additional laws to implement International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention requirements

New laws and program offerings from the Commission on Higher Education are needed that will realign maritime curriculum with international standards required by the IMO and STCW. In response to lack of maritime officers, appropriate bodies should study root causes of the lack of maritime officers. Scholarships and investments on educational facilities in rural areas where potential seafarers / officers come from should be maximized. To produce more maritime schools in white list and to address seafarers complaints over too many training and costly courses outside of curriculum, government should provide for more infrastructures for schools, state-of-the-art mechanisms for consortium and to rationalize curriculum over training program/ mechanisms for quick adjustments to rapid development. Government should also set up institutional facilities for apprenticeship training

3. Increase budget allocation for state universities and colleges

Public universities are resorting to privatization and commercialization schemes due to declining government subsidy for higher education. While the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997 grants public universities the prerogative to enter joint agreements with private corporations to increase income, government should continue prioritizing strong investments for state universities and colleges.

4. Magna Carta of Students

This is an old proposal which Congress has failed to pass for the past ten years. Student groups have long been advocating for a Magna Carta which would recognize and guarantee the exercise of students’ democratic rights inside campuses. The Magna Carta will empower students as equal partners in improving system of learning in the country.

5. University of the Philippines (UP) Charter

UP needs a new Charter which should be relevant for the modern times, considering that the terms of reference in the current Charter are already outmoded. Congress should pass a new UP Charter which would boost the capability of UP to modernize its operations and fulfill its mandate as catalyst for progress in the country.

Other proposals

1. Comprehensive Adolescent Reproductive Health Code

Increasing incidents of abortion among school-aged population and rise in number of drop-out cases due to early marriage or pregnancy are already alarming. There is no clear program to address reproductive health needs of adolescents. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared that Reproductive Health programs will only depend on the initiative of Local Government Units. Both the executive and legislative branches of government should adopt a Comprehensive Adolescent Reproductive Health Code.

2. Resolution inquiring on the update of normative financing scheme implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

Normative financing was adopted by CHED where achiever schools are infused with funding; and non-viable courses are phased-out. This affected access to quality higher education. There is need for further review of normative financing scheme. Congress can inquire on the status and assessment of this CHED program.

3. Amendment of RA 8292 (Higher Education Modernization Act)

After enactment of the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997 or RA 8292, state universities and colleges (SUCs) were politicized since representatives from the two Houses of Congress sit in the governing boards of SUCs. There is need to amend RA 8292 to promote non-politicization of SUCs

4. Moratorium on the creation of new State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)

Numerous SUCs were established by Congress without consulting education authorities and economic advisers of government on the viability of financially sustaining new SUCs. Now, there is a proliferation of SUCs, many of them duplicating course programs offered by private schools. There should be national mapping to determine what kind of SUCs should be established in each region or province.

5. Rationalizing policies of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on nursing

There is proliferation of sub-standard nursing schools producing graduates who are unfit to serve in hospitals. Many of these schools have no partner hospitals for the training of nursing students. CHED’s policies are inconsistent and contribute to the deterioration of nursing education in the country. Politics should be blamed for maintaining policies that do not uplift nursing education. There is need to rationalize CHED’s policies or to enact new law to improve nursing education. The law which created the Professional Regulation Commission should be amended to provide the agency with greater role to raise quality of nursing profession.

6. Increase job opportunities for graduating students

Industries need to be improved so that there will be available jobs for graduates. There is a mismatch between what schools produce and the jobs available in the market. Reviving local industries would increase available jobs for graduates.

Program : None
Campaign : None