SIG on Education for Social Transformation (EST)

Members of the SIG3 group in action with their facilitator Dr. Victoria C. Naval

The Special Interest Group (SIG) on Education for Social Transformation (EST) members consist of more or less fifty (50) participants from public and private basic and higher education institutions.

Dr. Victoria C. Naval, the designated/chair for SIG 3 presided over the meeting and discussion forum of the group. After an introduction of some basic ideas for social transformation based on Karl Marx theology book (1846) and definitions provided by the Institute for Social Transformation (USA). Dr. Naval emphasized the Filipino’s concept of education. She said that the Filipino’s concept of education jives with the functional and human capital theories of education’s role in social transformation, that these theories contend that:
     • Education is a great social and economic equalizer.
     • Education is the key to upward economic and social mobility.
     • Education increases labor productivity.
     • Education makes people more enlightened and less intolerant.

Likewise, she shared the concept of Education for Social Transformation (Machure, 2019) which consist of two (2) strands, namely: SOCIAL JUSTICE which focuses on goals such as human rights, inclusiveness and equity, global citizenship and participatory democracy and the ENVIRONMENTAL STRAND which generate active support for environmental protection and attaining of a more sustainable balance between human activity and the natural ecology.
Acknowledgement of EST among the members glided into the discussion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically goal #4- To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
It was raised during the discussion to identify and critically examine issues, challenges and policy implications based on the members experiences and observed gaps in the school systems performances some of the issues and challenges put forward and discussed by the group members were the following:

  1. 1. Quality of Education
  2. 2. Learning poverty (Low proficiency of students in reading and numeracy)
  3. 3. Drop – out rate (out-of-school youth)
  4. 4. Lack of facilities
  5. 5. Teacher shortage
  6. 6. Academe-industry mismatch
  7. 7. Budget for Education
  8. 8. Affordability of Education
  9. 9. Social Status (division between the poor and the rich)- Digital Divide
  10. 10. Impact of Covid-19 on overall learning experiences (learning loss)
  11. 11. Lack of quality teachers (field of specialization do not match the subjects being taught)
  12. 12. Students’ attitudes and behavior
  13. 13. Utilization of resources
  14. 14. Rigid curriculum and its contents.
  15. 15. Low employment rate
  16. 16. Mental health issues of teachers and students.

The following are the recommended actions of the group to address actions of the group to address the issues and challenges in strengthening education for social transformation.
  1. 1. Raise the quality of education by producing graduates with skills and capabilities for self-development and active participation in the economic, political and cultural life in society.
  2. 2. Identify the distinctive strengths of formal and non-formal education in the development of social transformation.
  3. 3. Implement reforms in teacher certification, hiring and teaching assignments
  4. 4. Involve students in innovative changes and utilize their own capabilities to actively participate in worthwhile activities for the benefit of society.
  5. 5. Help raise the quality of teaching in all levels through the use of timely, and modernized methods and strategies of teaching and learning.
  6. 6. Create and provide opportunities to students and faculty to make available their services to the community, especially in depressed areas.

The group reaffirms its commitment to assist in the promotion of education for social transformation
  1. 1. Design interventions systems and programs of educational institutions to fully recover from the pandemic by designing and redesigning paradigm shifts to address the issues and challenges that were discussed by the SIG3 members.
  2. 2. Assist in the implementation a technology-driven and values-laden social transformation in the curriculum.
  3. 3. Internalize values education in the curriculum.
  4. 4. Strengthen community involvement projects for the promotion of human capital and social transformation.
  5. 5. Forge linkages and collaboration among WCCI members involving research projects, faculty and student exchange and community services

Dr.Naval reports on the EST results of discussion of the SIG3 Group