EDCOM 2 Co-Chairpersons Senator Win Gatchalian and Representative Mark Go led the Philippine delegation to key Australian organizations and institutions in a learning visit from April 30 to May 6, 2023.
The trip was organized by Philippine Business for Education with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with the aim of gaining insights from the Australian education system, particularly pertaining to the areas of education governance, teacher quality, assessment, early childhood education, and government-industry-academia collaboration for lifelong learning.
During the visit, the Co-Chairpersons, together with EDCOM 2 Standing Committee Members Dr. Chito Salazar, Mr. Fred Ayala, Dr. Therese Bustos, and Fr. Johnny Go visited numerous institutions that play key roles in the Australian education sector, including the University of Melbourne’s Assessment and Evaluation Research Centre, the Australian Council for Educational Research, RMIT University, Canberra Institute of Technology, and Jobs and Skills Australia.
In their visit to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), the delegation studied best practices on how to reduce the amount of time school leaders and teachers spend on non-teaching, non-learning or non-leadership tasks. The visit provided insights into best practices that could help improve capacity in training, supporting, and empowering teachers and principals – fitting into the Commission’s Priority Area 18 on in-service training and development.
The delegation also visited the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the organization that manages the national curriculum of Australia, where they learned about how they develop and review their national curriculum, as well as setup mechanisms for assessment. Under EDCOM 2’s Priority Area 7, the Commission will look into validating current efforts for curriculum reform by the Department of Education.
The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) commissions research on effective teaching and learning practices for teachers and school leaders across Australia. The delegation sought to understand how the Australian government currently studies gaps in their system, providing an internal feedback loop that enables them to continuously improve. EDCOM 2’s Priority Area 25 explores implementing integrated performance management systems and accountability within the education sector.
The Philippine delegation also visited other institutions that indirectly play important roles in the Australian education system, including the Sydney General Assembly, and the Western Parkland City Authority.
In a meeting with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Commission also discussed next steps in the collaboration between the two institutions.
“Visits like these further our understanding of what effective and meaningful education systems look like on the ground.”, EDCOM 2 Executive Director Dr. Karol Mark Yee said. “We are always in pursuit of opportunities to learn from our friends and neighbors. In the next few months, we will visit best practices and exemplars within the country that can provide local models in the pursuit of EDCOM 2’s goals. Together, these success stories can become prototypes of where we want to go in our own educational landscape in the Philippines.”
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