THE Philippine’s education system may not be ready to compete with other countries once the economic integration of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) takes effect in 2015, according to Dr. Karen Belina De Leon, chairperson of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea).
De Leon, who is also the president of Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) and Misamis University, said the full economic integration of Asean will likely not be attained by 2015.
“It will still involve more work for post-2015. For creating a single market, 2015 represents the end of the beginning,” she told The Manila Times in an interview.
She cited the lack of infrastructure, technology, and the capacity building for the country’s educators.
“We are still wanting in infrastructure development, both soft and hard; the banking sector has to stay ahead of the game,” De Leon said.
Asean members, she said, should not view each other as competitors but as collaborators.
“Compared to Europe, Asean lacks similarity in its culture due to its different colonial histories. Asean may not be able to achieve full regional identity integration as in Europe, but that is what makes Asean unique – a huge melting pot of a multicultural community,” she added.
In a separate interview, the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) cited the need for linkages between the academe and industry to improve the country’s education system.
PBEd president Chito Salazar said the collaboration between the academe and industry is significant to ensure that graduates are equipped with skills needed by the companies.
“It’s important for schools to coordinate and link with industry. This will give schools a better understanding of what companies need and possibly access to the latest technology and equipment,” Salazar said.