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News » Industry leaders push for IT curriculum upgrade in the Philippines

Industry leaders push for IT curriculum upgrade in the Philippines

Seipi President Danilo Lachica during an ANC interview on January 22, 2024. Photo from ANC Digital / Youtube.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (Seipi) is urging the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to revamp information technology courses to align with industry needs as the Philippines strives to keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

At a forum, Seipi President Danilo Lachica emphasized the importance of the academe engaging directly with industry leaders to tailor educational offerings that meet current demands.

“They need to talk to the industry and understand what the industry needs and then act expeditiously and basically give flexibility to the industry and academe, the [higher education institutions] HEIs, to be able to improve or enhance the courses that would meet the industry’s needs,” Lachica explained.

He revealed that Seipi submitted recommendations to CHED 12 years ago to add eight engineering and four applied science subjects, but the request remains “in waiting with CHED.” 

The group also proposed incorporating emerging technologies like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence into IT curricula, but these suggestions were disregarded.

Lachica recalled an interaction in which a CHED official mentioned that these technologies had been discussed previously—five years ago when they were not even part of the curricular considerations. “I hope the new chairman would do a better job,” Lachica added.

Seipi-led upskilling initiatives

While engaging with CHED, the industry is taking matters into its own hands. Seipi is collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) to upskill workers for Industry 4.0.

“AMDev is an industry-led alliance with the academe, manufacturing companies, and government to help Filipinos upgrade their skills to meet the demands of modern work,” said Lachica, who serves as AMDev’s Chief of Party.

Last November, DTI, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Makati Business Club, and Unilab Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) supporting the program, which aims to train 11,000 individuals in “scientific, technology-based knowledge and advanced cognitive skills” like automated equipment, big data, and AI.

Currently covering 400 electronics and pharmaceutical workers, AMDev will soon expand to chemicals, food, and agri-manufacturing.

With $5.2 million in USAID funding and private-sector matching, the five-year program seeks to boost manufacturing competitiveness and economic growth through workforce development.

Read more here.

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