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‘Access, Capacity, Excellence’

The Eggie Apostol Foundation and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) join all education stakeholders in extending heartfelt congratulations to the Commission on Higher Education on its 20th founding anniversary on May 18.

The CHEd will hold its annual Higher Education Week on May 19-23. On Tuesday, CHEd Chair Patricia B. Licuanan will deliver her State of Higher Education Address, titled “Access, Capacity, Excellence: Higher Education for National Development and Global Competitiveness.” We can expect her to provide a comprehensive account of the higher-education landscape, CHEd initiatives to address main issues and concerns, and the administration’s thrusts in addressing these.

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The Eggie Apostol Foundation has worked closely with the Department of Education to engage local communities for education reform, but its leading light has always underscored how higher education uplifts the individual’s overall value to society. Our work with local communities has made us realize that while basic education equips the individual for lifelong learning, higher education helps provide a vision of not just one but several possible futures.

The CHEd was created through the Higher Education Act (Republic Act No. 7722) signed by President Fidel V. Ramos on May 18, 1994. Earlier, higher-education institutions were supervised and regulated by the Bureau of Higher Education.

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According to Benedict C. Hernandez, chair of the Ibpap executive committee, the CHEd’s continuing conversation with industry leaders shows its deep appreciation of the critical need to harness the power of academe-government-industry collaboration to equip students with industry skills, increase their employability, and improve their potential for career success.

In fact, the CHEd—through its IT BPM Growth Area Project—has engaged the Ibpap as its technical expert for the Service Management Program (SMP) specialization track for 17 state universities and colleges (SUCs) nationwide. These are the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Laguna State Polytechnic University, Cavite State University, Batangas State University, Bulacan State University, Tarlac State University, Philippine Normal University, Pangasinan State University, Don Mariano Marcos State University, Benguet State University, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Negros Oriental State University, Technological University of the Philippines, West Visayas College of Science and Technology, West Visayas State University, and University of Southeastern Philippines.

The SMP specialization track, put together by academic experts and IT BPM industry leaders, is a 21-unit set of electives for business and IT degree programs. The prescribed competencies closely respond to global industry standards. To reinforce learning at a globally competitive level, the SMP also prescribes a 600-hour internship at an IT BPM company. Thus, the Ibpap has been establishing working partnerships between its members and the 17 SUCs.

Since the summer of 2013, the Ibpap has been conducting intensive training sessions to prepare the faculty of SUCs and to enable the SUCs themselves to offer the electives to its students. By the end of June 2014, 545 faculty from 13 SUCs will have completed their SMP training to effectively teach business communication, service culture, systems thinking and BPM fundamentals. As many as 260 more faculty will have been trained to use the online basic English skills training (BEST) and advanced English proficiency training to improve both their own and their students’ communication skills.

In Academic Year 2013, five SUCs began offering the SMP electives for incoming juniors, and 4,097 students enrolled in the courses. Barring unplanned circumstances, by AY 2014 all 17 SUCs should be able to offer these electives for an overall target SMP enrollment of 20,000 students. This will be a clear boost to the country’s global competitiveness.

Unique for the Higher Education Week, the Ibpap and its member-associations will give the public a closer look at the varied career options in the IT BPM industry.

The Philippine Software Industry Association will feature projects from local startups like Training.ph (a portal in which learners may register for skills-based reviews and training sessions), iCPA (for “I can pass accounting,” which helps students with basic accounting principles and practices), and Stockoo (which enables its users to learn more about the stock market).

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The Animation Council of the Philippines will have a digital animation artist working on a Wacom Cintiq tablet provided by Ynzal. The Game Developers Association of the Philippines will demonstrate popular game titles on smartphones and game consoles. Cognizant, a member of the Health Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, will show its medical management process. AMDATEX will run its online language program while visitors test their English communication skills through the simulated SMP lab running the BEST software from Edulynx.

Marking two decades of existence is a milestone, especially for a government agency like the CHEd, which has the daunting task of holistically ensuring the professional formation and maturity of our youth. By holding true to its mandate to “ensure and protect academic freedom…, the advancement of learning and research, the development of responsible and effective leadership, the education of high-level and middle-level professionals, and the enrichment of our historical and cultural heritage,” the CHEd under Licuanan’s leadership fully deserves our respect and admiration.

Butch Hernandez ([email protected]) is the executive director of the Eggie Apostol Foundation and education lead for talent development at Ibpap.

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TAGS: Butch Hernandez, CHEd, Commentary, Commission on Higher Education, education, Eggie Apostol Foundation, IBPAP, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, opinion
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