Filipino learners need to be equipped with 21st-century competencies, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, to thrive in today’s fast changing world, according to a policy note published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
“A diploma is too thin an armor to shield Filipino graduates from the impacts of an unprecedented disruptive future,” Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista and Mark Vincent Aranas, board of trustees member and consultant, respectively, at PIDS, said in their policy note titled “The learning crisis in Philippine education: An overview”.
Bautista and Aranas said other 21st-century skills needed include comfort with ambiguity, communication and collaboration, among others.
They also underscored the importance for schools and academic institutions to provide spaces for learners to acquire character-building qualities, such as leadership, initiative, adaptability and grit.
The paper said the paradigm shift from education to lifelong learning was a global response to rapid technological and social changes in the 1990s.
“It aimed to recalibrate education systems worldwide to focus on competencies (i.e., knowledge and skills applied in context) as learner outcomes instead of only on knowledge as input to learning. The Philippines, however, has been slow in making this shift, contributing to today’s learning crisis,” it said.
Bautista and Aranas said addressing the learning crisis, however, is not just about shifting education paradigms and supporting a mindset change.
They said “equally urgent” is the need to tackle head-on financial, organizational, technical, human resource, and poverty- and inequality-related constraints to learning at different levels of the education system.
“(This will) enable Filipinos, regardless of social class, ethnic affiliation, and geographical location, to cope and thrive in a complex world of multiple disruptions (e.g., global pandemic recovery, climate change, the fifth industrial revolution, geopolitical tensions),” they added.