Inocencia Ida S. Tionko, RN, MHPED
Welcome to our third webinar of the National Multisectoral Summit for Educational Transformation: And Academe – Alumni – Industry – Government Collaboration. As we continue with our journey in this summit, we see ourselves moving closer to the achievement of the objective we have set at the beginning that is to catalyze the transformation of the Philippine educational landscape in bridging the academe and industry gap. In the first webinar entitled Transitioning the Graduates to Industry 4.0 Workplace, we learned that we were inspired of understanding, skills and technology can help prepare the workforce for Industry 4.0. The need for addressing the long-standing imbalances and learning gaps was emphasized. Prominent keywords were transform, adapt, co-create, collaborate and reach out. As we journey to the second level that focus on disruptions, disturbances, and disorders of industry 4.0, we saw how the present pandemic greatly affected the industry and the academe, and how particular and effective solutions are imperative to be in place with the support of the government to help our students and organizations adapt and become resilient and agile. And now we are here in the third webinar, higher education in the Industry 4.0 era, and our speakers are challenged to help us answer the question “What is to be done by its sector to catalyze the transformation of the Philippine educational landscape towards Education 4.0?” The third industrial revolution has brought educators to an environment where access to information is immediate and free, shifting the focus toward active learning pedagogies that place a premium on collaboration with diverse teams in a project-based and peer-learning environment. Education experts agree that any educational plan for Industry 4.0 must be built upon the results of the third industrial revolution with its emerging development of hybrid, online and in-person instruction, an efficient and seamless integration of global video conferencing, and a wide array of asynchronous educational resources. Blended instruction and optimization of prepped and online courses will make more efficient learning environments. Traditional undergraduate education through information transfer is no longer a viable form of education to ensure employment and a career. In this context, we must ask, how do we prepare employable and responsible citizens in our tertiary education systems? Michael Peters in his paper on Technological Unemployment: Educating for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, published in the Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, has argued that education by itself will be insufficient to address problems of technological unemployment. Education through traditional institutions of higher education is still important, but their collaboration with industry and governments need to be much more intense. At this point, I am proud to share that in relation to graduates employability, UST ranked second among Philippine universities in this area according to a survey by London’s Quacquarelli Symonds or QS, just released on September 23. This graduate employability rankings evaluate universities according to pipe metrics. Namely, partnerships with employers, graduate employment rate, employer student connections, alumni outcomes and employer reputation. Indeed, this is proof of the university’s performance and commitment in preparing employable and responsible citizens that is required of Education 4.0 for Industry 4.0. Education through traditional institutions of higher education is still important, but their collaboration with industry and government needs to be much more intense. Higher education must change to prepare their workforce in the fourth industrial revolution. The fourth industrial revolution has changed the landscape of educational innovation, the exact impacts of such technologies and society and the planet is still unknown, but the fact that they will bring profound and rapid change seems all but certain. The need for higher education to respond is urgent. Education 4.0 focuses on educational development and skill that has made future learning more customized, hyper-intelligent, portable, worldwide, and virtual. In the future, there will be a lot of changes in ways of teaching and learning, but the logic of education systems should be such that it is a system that conforms to the learner rather than the learner to the system. This is the essence of personalization. May I invite everyone therefore to continue to journey with us in this webinar as we listen to our speakers present the challenges ahead, what needs to be done in order to ensure effective and immediate transformation as we venture to bridge the industry and academe. Stay with us and let us continue to enjoy learning. Thank you and a pleasant morning to all.