Teamwork among gov't agencies needed to address education problems — Villanueva

Published July 6, 2021, 4:40 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva on Tuesday, July 6, called for teamwork among the government’s education agencies to address the issues in the education sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Joel Villanueva speaks during a Senate hearing on February 24, 2020. (Senate PRIB/Henzberg Austria)

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Higher Education said that as tests and studies reveal the “deterioration of the quality of graduates across levels,” the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Educational and Skills Development Administration (TESDA) should come up with one strategy on how to improve education.

He said the three agencies “like three campuses of one school and not as three separate schools independent of each other.”

“While we have a ‘trifocalized’ setup in the education sector, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be operating like three classrooms with a firewall separating each,” Villanueva said in a statement.

A closer collaboration among the concerned agencies, he said, is necessary so the government “will have a stronger and unified approach in addressing an education crisis worsened by the pandemic.”

Education programs, he added, must “be on the same page, so that policies will not be fragmented and for three agencies, and their mandates, to be seamlessly connected.”

On Monday, July 5, the Senate higher education panel started tackling the Senate Bill No. 1744, which seeks to amend the charter of the CHED.

Villanueva said CHED’s mandates have evolved over the years, with new ones, like the Free Tuition Law, imposed by Congress.

He, however, said, amending the CHED’s charter should go hand in hand with other education reforms, “which is one unfinished work.”

“While we strengthen each education agency, we must see to that cooperation remains the cornerstone of trifocalized education,” Villanueva said.