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Launched late last week, the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Department of Education Secretary Bro Armin Luistro, and Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Dr Cynthia Bautista led the opening of the Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC), a partnership of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) College of Education and the University of Melbourne’s Assessment Research Centre.
The ACTRC, located in the UP College of Education building in Diliman, Quezon City, was established with Php150 million (A$3.4 million) support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The funding will support the Centre’s initial three years of operation.
“Australia strongly supports the Philippine government’s efforts in implementing the K to 12 program. Investing in a quality education system will provide better opportunities for all, and a pathway out of poverty for the most disadvantaged,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
The Centre will undertake grounded research and evaluation activities in the areas of assessment, curriculum and technology as they relate to the implementation of the Philippine Government’s K to 12 Program.
“Australia shares the Philippine Government’s vision that K to 12, if implemented well, will bring the Philippines’ school system closer to international standards. The interaction of curriculum, assessment and the use of technology are important facets of a successful education program,” Ambassador Tweddell said. “The curriculum is the blueprint of an education system. Assessment provides a picture of where we are in that blueprint today. Technology enables the curriculum to respond to the needs of the 21st century.”
"The University of Melbourne and its Graduate School of Education is proud to be associated with this major initiative to inform the Philippines education and research communities. The Centre will provide an opportunity to put into practice evidence-based research outcomes through its collaborative activities with the Philippines Department of Education," said Professor Field Rickards, Dean of the Graduate School of Education of the University of Melbourne.
UP College of Education Dean Dr Rosario Alonzo said, “The establishment of the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre will enable the University of the Philippines to contribute not only to the implementation of a major reform program such as the K to 12, but also to the professional development of the UP faculty, especially of the College of Education. This is crucial to the University’s fulfillment of its mandate as a research university.”
The Centre opening was also attended by UP President Alfredo Pascual, officials of the Department of Education, stakeholders from academe, non-government agencies, research groups, and aid agencies. ACTRC Directors Associate Professor Esther Care from the University of Melbourne and Dr Nemah Hermosa from the University of the Philippines presented an overview of the Centre’s mission and consequent activities at the launch.