Economic Forum with Mr. Elyxzur Ramos (K-12 as the Link Between Education and Industry)

22.02.18 AHK News

Members and non-members alike found themselves gaining a few insights at this year’s second Economic Forum at the German Club, on Thursday, 22nd of February.

This month, the forum kicked off with Dr. Bodo Goerlich, Vice-President of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), giving his welcoming remarks. Dr. Andree Buhl, the Commercial Counsellor of the German Embassy, then introduced this month’s speaker: Dr. Elyxzur Ramos, P.h. D. Dr. Ramos, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Makati (UMak), shared the experiences and insights he gained as an administrator of one of the first universities to implement the Department of Education’s K-12 basic curriculum reform program.

 Dr. Ramos started off his talk by providing the University of Makati’s experience with the K-12 program. This year, the pioneer batch of the K-12 program will be graduating from UMak, producing the most number of K-12 graduates among schools. UMak’s vision is to serve the children of the less privileged in Makati, with their tuition being only Php 1,000 for Makati residences, and Php 3,000 pesos for non-Makati residents per semester. By implementing the K-12 program, the University also actively participates in the country’s economic progress by giving their students employable skills, as is one of the goals of the K-12 curriculum reform program.

The University utilizes a Dualized University Education System (DUES), wherein the General Education subjects are taught by core teachers, while the professional and practical subjects are taught by practitioners in different industries. Patterned after the concept of Dual Training in Germany, UMak partnered with different companies in a variety of industries in order to provide their students with hands-on training and experience in their respective fields. The university also adjusted their curricula according to the needs of employers in order to give their students a better chance of getting employed. UMak also offers specific technical and vocational courses that are not usually offered in other universities, such as construction management, industrial facilities management, and purchasing and supply chain management.

Dr. Ramos brought up the point that 21st century education focuses more on diversity, customization, and creativity. He vocalized that students these days learn differently from before, and learning by mass production no longer cuts it. Education is now all about rapid, far-reaching change, and schools need to adapt to diverse learning styles, make more use of technology, and to really focus on learning needs. According to Dr. Ramos, teachers now need to act more as coaches and facilitators. The issue here is that students’ learning needs are different but schools still remain the same.

Dr. Ramos also brought up the subject of the dropout rate, which at this point, is still pretty high. He also mentioned that many of the students drop out of school due to poverty, and the need to support their family early, as opposed to having to go through two more years of basic education. On a brighter note however, Dr. Ramos also mentioned that the number and quality of technical and vocational courses is definitely progressing, and right now, the University of Makati receives support from both TESDA and the Local Government Units.

Dr. Ramos ended his talk on a hopeful note, mentioning the trails that the University of Makati is paving in the implementation of the K-12 program. Dr. Bodo proceeded then to thank Dr. Ramos for sharing his experiences and insights, and opened up the floor for some questions from the audience. The general sentiment was that while the Philippines still has a long way to go in terms of educational reform, it is on its way.

The German-Philippine Chamber would like to thank Dr. Elyxzur Ramos for giving time to share his insights on the K-12 program to our members and guests, and we hope to welcome him again in future events!