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DepEd partakes in 3rd ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework Meeting and Technical Conference

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PASIG CITY, December 20, 2017 – ASEAN member-states (AMS) officials and representatives from education, labor and economic ministries gathered for another round of discussion about the ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) that will enable the AMS to make proper comparison and recognition of qualifications within ASEAN and other regions such as Europe and Australia.
The Philippine delegates from the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) joined the 3rd National Qualification Framework Phase IV Workshop and the 3rd ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last November 14-16. 
Hosted by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), with support from the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Programme, the event was attended by around 70 AQRF Committee representatives and delegations from the different AMS. 
The development of the ASEAN Referencing Report was the highlight of the workshop where an informal peer review exercise and learning session took place among the participating AMS.  It also served as a venue for learning exchange from the experience of the endorsement process of the European Qualifications Framework Referencing Report.
Back-to-back with the workshop was the 3rd AQRF Committee Meeting which was held last November 15-16.  The Committee discussed, among others, the AQRF Committee’s Functions Implementation Plan, Procedures of Engagement with Relevant Stakeholders, Updates Status Reports and the outcome of the workshop. 
Dr. Cynthia Rose Bautista, University of the Philippines (UP) Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Former TESDA Director General Irene M. Isaac and DepEd Undersecretary Jesus L.R. Mateo are the Philippines’ representatives to the AQRF Committee.  
Established in 2012 through Executive Order No. 38 (EO 83), the Philippine Qualification Framework (PQF) defines educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualification outcomes within the Philippine education system.  In general, the potential benefits it would bring to our education and training system include having a single integrated qualification system; promoting lifelong learning; supporting recognition of prior learning; improving the quality of education and training; and making qualifications more relevant to labor market needs.
To align the Philippines with international qualifications framework for easier mobility of workers and students in other countries, PQF will be referenced to AQRF in 2018.  Referencing the PQF, which also means comparing or benchmarking, will open up our education and training system to other ASEAN member-countries. Referencing is the process that results in the establishment of a relationship between the levels of national qualifications of the AMS and the eight levels of the AQRF.    
Thailand will host the next AQRF Committee Meeting in April 2018.

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