“We prepare our students for jobs and careers, but we don’t teach them to think as individuals about what kind of world they would create.”
Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate & Ashoka Global Academy Member
The Philippines is projected to become the youngest country in Asia. Deemed as a key asset, the young, literate, and English-speaking workforce is expected to continue to drive economic growth.
Without inclusive growth, however, shared prosperity remains out-of-reach for many Filipinos. The country continues to face pressing social problems such as social inequality, poverty, malnutrition, human rights violations, armed conflict, corruption in government, and vulnerability to climate change-related disasters.
Due largely to the fast-growing population, current collective efforts for education are focused on meeting increasing demands for classrooms, equipment, and teachers. The purpose of education, however, remains as primarily a means to produce quality human resource.
But it is no longer enough to prepare for jobs. Young people must be taught to adapt, solve problems, and, ultimately, own their future. The Department of Education itself has recognized this in the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013. Through the K to 12 program, the government aims to equip students with “21st Century Skills” such as learning and innovation; information media and technology; effective communication; and life and career skills. To date, transition and full implementation is still in progress.
Ashoka Philippines is working on Youth Years, helping build a community of leading social innovators, institutions, and organizations that are dedicated to transforming education by focusing on holistic growth.
Around the world, with partners in academe, media, business, and government, Ashoka aims to put emphasis on instilling changemaking skills such as empathy, creativity, teamwork, and leadership. Changemaking skills help prepare young people to face old and new challenges with the goal of inspiring them to create positive social change.
“The youth are the hope of the motherland.” These are the famous words of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. As the Philippines grows to depend on the youth for change, it is critical to teach them the skills they need to help them build a better world.