JICA trains teachers, students on ‘monozukuri’

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THE Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has trained teachers and students in Cebu on Japanese manufacturing standards and philosophy called “monozukuri” to further boost the country’s manufacturing industry and employability of Filipino graduates.

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“Monozukuri” is a popular Japanese approach and philosophy of pursuing innovation in manufacturing that aims to maximize customer satisfaction and create excellent products. It also refers to a work culture anchored on community coexistence, environment harmony and effective resource utilization.

The training is part of JICA’s technical cooperation for grassroots project and is the second phase of an earlier “monozukuri” training held in Cebu City implemented in November 2013 until March 2016.

To date, majority of the 164 Filipino engineering students in Cebu have gained “monozukuri” knowledge during the project’s first phase.

The project also expects jobs to be generated from exchanges of universities and industries between Cebu (University of San Jose Recoletos and University of San Carlos) and Saitama (Toyo University and Shibaura Institute of Technology).

“We hope that through the ‘monozukuri’ training, more Filipino students will visit Saitama for training and employment and also contribute to Philippine society,” Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda said.

In addition, Saitama in partnership with Cebu and the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 7 are launching an Active Learning Promotion Project on January 2017 as continuing support to human resource development and sharing of Japanese technology and expertise with the Philippines.

The project aims to introduce problem-solving skills to teachers and school administrative staff including students from pilot schools that will be identified under the project.

The Philippine government earlier reiterated its focus on jobs creation and capacity-building of Filipino graduates as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic agenda.

The Saitama Prefecture is known for its successful implementation of the “monozukuri” approach in its manufacturing practices. Many of its young employees are proactive and committed to constantly raising the level of quality in their work.

Saitama has the fifth highest gross domestic product, at $20 billion in 2012, among all 47 prefectures of Japan, based on International Monetary Fund data.

Aside from training Filipino students on Japanese techniques and standards, JICA continues to support the Philippines’ human resource development through an ongoing senior high school modeling project with DepEd that aims to support the country’s implementation of technical vocational education.

NEIL A. ALCOBER

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