Asean integration tackled in Cocopea congress


THE merger of national economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will be tackled when educators, members of various academic institutions and students gather at the 5th National Congress of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) to be held from February 20 to 21.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Del Rosario will discuss “Asean Integration—Its Impact on Philippine Society and Education Sector” in his keynote address. He is expected to discuss the effects of a borderless Asean region on education.

The event has the theme, “Leading Philippine Education for Global Excellence.”

Cocopea Chairman Dr. Patricia Bustos Lagunda said the national assembly aims to reinforce the significant role and impact of private education on national development; lead and develop an “education competitiveness strategy” that is aligned to global standards and leveraged on the country’s assets and distinctiveness; formulate and communicate a unified policy direction for private education as it transitions to and joins the Asean Economic Community 2015; identify and promote key areas of educational excellence that the sector can anchor on in order to bring Philippine education to the forefront and collaborate with government in bringing about necessary reforms, recommending legislative measures and establishing policy directions for the education sector.

On the first day of the congress, guest speaker Dr. Jamil Salmi, Tertiary Education Expert and former World Bank tertiary education coordinator, will talk about building a world-class university in a borderless region.

Dr. Salmi provides policy advice and consulting services to various governments, universities, professional associations, multilateral banks and bilateral cooperation agencies. Until January 2012, he was the World Bank’s tertiary education coordinator. He wrote the first World Bank policy paper on higher education reform in 1994 and was the principal author of the Bank’s 2002 Tertiary Education Strategy entitled “Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education.”

His 2009 book addresses the “Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities.” And his latest book, which co-edited with Prof. Phil Altbach was entitled “The Road to Academic Excellence: the Making of World-Class Research Universities,” was published in September 2011.

Another notable speaker, Gwang Jo Kim, is director of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok.

Born in the Republic of Korea, Dr. Kim holds a B.A. degree in Public Administration from Korea University, Seoul (1978), a Master’s (1984) and a Ph.D. (1994) in Education from Harvard University, USA.

Prior to his appointment as director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in January 2009, he has worked in various capacities for the government of the Republic of Korea. In the Office of the President, he assisted former President Young Sam Kim in an education reform initiative that restructured the entire Korean educational system.

As Deputy Minister of Education and Human Resources Development (HRD), he coordinated national HRD policies across line ministries, and also initiated the “Global Human Resources Forum”, an international knowledge-sharing platform in the areas of education and human resources development.


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