Dir. Leila P. Areola 
Director IV, Bureau of Learning Delivery
Department of Education
Manila, Philippines
This timely seminar allows us in the apostolate of forming and transforming the youth, the time to reflect during this critical point in our lives when there are unstoppable defects or changes taking place in the processes and systems, be they social, political, economic, and more so, educational. Indeed, it is a great honor and privilege for me to be given an opportunity to talk in this academic activity. The generation of today, the youth, is described as the millennial and/or Generation Z. The generation reaching adulthood in the second decade of the 21st Century perceived as being familiar with the Internet from a young age is being confronted with a lot of challenges brought about by the impact of globalization and in the very least, the impact of Asianization. The world faced by the youth today is a world in which countries have been isolated due to restrictive laws and policies and a world that has gradually conglomerated allowing fast mobility and exchanges. The question of how well our youth respond to such changes remains one of the many questions we in DepEd and all educational institutions ask ourselves. And so correspondingly, we ask ourselves: How do we prepare our students for this? What do we aim to afford them in terms of quality education? What kind of transformation in our educational system do we need to adapt to global changes or perhaps do we need also to transform our education leaders than just our learners toward innovation and change? 
The state of education in Asia reflects the challenges of diversity in Asia itself. There are varied education systems and structures, as well as the wide gap between countries struggling to meet the most amazing educational and human security needs. ‘Di ba nakakainggit ang Bhutan (Isn’t Bhutan enviable)? Everything is free. The rapidly developing nations are vying to compete on the global stage while attending to pressures of growing population and advanced economies. The region has actually the world’s top performers in the PISA or the Programs for International Students Assessment and TIMSS or the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study as well as some of the most underfunded and underperforming systems in the world. In Asia and the Pacific, countries have undergone significant transformation over the past decades. Has this process of extraordinary dynamism led to changes in the lives and education of people and that of societies? According to Dr. Andreas, chief architect of International Global Competence Framework of PISA, the schools play a key role in fostering global competence. So, how is global competence achieved based on the PISA Assessment? Global competence is the capacity to examine local, global, and cultural issues. To understand and appreciate the perspective and world views of others is to engage in open and appropriate interactions of people from different cultures and to act for collective well-being. 
I am very certain and confident that our Pre K-12 Program is responding to changes. What implications do the global competence have for educators? What education does global competence have for us? Teaching for global competence speaks about educating for global competence that is accessible and within reach of an average teacher. Students in global competence are practicing skill development in classrooms and applying their learning in the real world. Your instructional strategies speak well of how much you are providing our school children an opportunity to develop their skills. Teaching for global competence does not require a new curriculum. What we do is that we have a curriculum; just look into the curriculum as to where global competence could be developed. It requires combining instructional strategies for active learning and global issues, and weaving them into the existing curriculum. All we need to have or what we need to be equipped with are of course instructional strategies like structured debates, organized discussions, learning from current events, learning from play, service learning, project-based learning, and experiential learning. The whole education system needs to be active in this effort. We are talking about learners to be told of what climate change is. Like what I say, it’s not only learners learning about it, but it should be everyone embracing it.
And I’m sure teaching for global competence is systematically integrated across the curriculum. All of us are responsible for this. High priority in building global competency means spreading it beyond individual teachers. Education systems must leverage teachers as advocates, as ambassadors, as champions. 
The challenge therefore, is to provide access to professional learning for all teachers in order to transform their teaching, their classrooms, their schools, and ultimately each and every one of their students. You are so lucky because you have this academic exercise for you to be equipped with all these skills to reach every student especially the most marginalized, developing the capacity of educators to teach for global competence requires systematic professional learning. And so, professional development for educators is the key to achieving global competence. So, how do we as teachers, as administrators, as policy-makers adapt to changes? So, let me talk about trends in empowering educators in Asia. As the education industry in Asia evolves in steps with recent methodological advances, new ways of teaching and learning can emerge, empowering educators with more solutions to better engage our learners. Technology is shaping the way we approach education and let me mention some of the emerging trends that are reshaping education. One is, of course, we have Artificial Intelligence to immersive learning experiences. The rise of such technology will impact education. And here are the technology trends that are driving change and reshaping the future of education. So AI or Artificial Intelligence, becomes an indispensable assistant to educators. There are actually 47.5% demand gross for AI in the classroom. So, what does AI do in the schools? It helps teachers actually classify their resources. It makes recommendations. It also improves accessibility. AI can assist teachers by using its capabilities to inform practice, manage the complexity of a new student-centered and project-based models of teaching-learning, and it serves as a guide in making better day-to-day decisions. Educators, therefore, should focus their efforts in utilizing AI to augment, let me be emphatic on that, to augment the things that matter most. It is just to augment human strengths like empathy, imagination, and passion to accomplish goals beyond what either humans or machines can do alone. That way, education does not lose its valuable aspect—the human touch. Hindi pa rin tayo pwedeng papalitan. Hindi pa rin tayo mawawalan ng trabaho. (People cannot be fully replaced. We will not be left without work.)Learning analytics could push personalized learning to the forefront, improvise actionable information for education institutions, and enable educators to fine-tune their teaching approach based on databases. For example, the data highlighting a student’s weakness in a particular subject can guide teachers in actually formulating a worthy intervention so that specific learning challenges can be addressed. Immersive learning will gain extra momentum. Sci-fi blockbusters have captured the imagination of viewers with their futuristic mission of virtual reality and how we can impact education. Rapid advances in virtual reality and of bended reality, such technologies can make way for mainstream delivery models into contemporary schools. So, we expect that online learning and distance learning will be popular. Students can finish schooling at home through online and distance learning. Schools are exploring new possibilities in immersion using virtual laboratories—interactive field trips that can provide realistic situations and explorations while stimulating the imagination of the student. 
STEAM or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math will continue to foster new innovation. What is very familiar to us is the STEM but what’s coming in is the inclusion of Arts in STEM, so it becomes STEAM. STEAM has been a by? word in education for some time. It is gaining momentum. Arts was added to an original STEM framework to foster true innovation by combining the mind of the scientist or the technologies with that of an artist or a designer.
The main difference between STEM and that of STEAM is that STEM was explicitly focused only on scientific concepts while STEAM investigates the same concepts but does include inquiry and problem-based learning methods. So, it is a reminder to us that it is really important that we are embracing the latest instructional strategies because that’s what our curriculum actually requires. How do we connect with digital native learners in Asia? A number of you already belong to the digital millennial. Our learners have instant access to information. DepEd is considering the use of mobile phones, iPads, and tablets and will be starting off in Senior High School. It incorporates interactive learning with touchable mobile devices. In fact, it is the Bureau of Learning Delivery that is in charge of looking into the learning materials that are supposed to be stored in the mobile phone or in the tablet that will one day be provided to our learners. 
Digital collaboration tools have shown promise in the collaborative learning among digital learners. It has to be fun when we learn to manage it. The engaging nature of game apps can be tapped to get learners excited and teach them basic technical skills. We were asked to comment about the inclusion of “Mobile Legends” as one of the contested events in the field. At first, I didn’t go with it. But I asked comments from some millennials in my office and they say that it helps develop analytical skills and decision-making skills. Whether we agree to it or not, we have to be part of this generation. In Finland, we were introduced to 
using play in learning Math. Teaching approach becomes flexible. Whatever does not work now may work in the future. Educators should rethink how they are reaching out to their students in the classroom. 
Children can already manage their own learning time. Teachers are just facilitators. So how do we manage change? Access to inclusive education can help equip locals with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems. And for this one, our education system needs to be at the forefront. 
So, what are the problems of the world? At present, there are 57 million out-of-school-youth (OSY). Fifty percent (50%) of the OSY live in conflict-affected areas. Seventy million youth worldwide lack basic mathematics and literacy skills. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underline the framework action. So, we have the Universal Primary and Secondary Education that by 2030, we ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. That’s the first SDG.
The second SDG is on Early Childhood Development and Free Universal Primary Education that ensures that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development. The third one is the provision on equal access to technical-vocational and higher education. And the next one on Relevant Skills for decent work and this is going to substantially increase the number of youth and adults having relevant skills for employment and entrepreneurship. With gender equality and inclusion, DepEd has programs like ALS-EST (Alternative Learning Systems - Education and Skills Training) that provides training, so that by the time they finish high school or pass the Accreditation and Equivalency Exam (A&E), they can apply for a National Certification (NC), and end up having a job. Universal literacy ensures that all youth achieve literacy and numeracy. Global citizenship ensures that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyle, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity.
The Bureau of Learning Delivery is now working on the policy on Learning Environment. Hopefully, we will be able to establish through this policy the standards of a learning environment. Education facilities need to be built in a child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe, inclusive, nonviolent, and effective learning environment. We also hope that the Inclusive Education Framework will be approved soon. 
Scholarship grants should be substantially expanded to make them available to developing countries. The supply of teachers and educators has to be substantially increased including through international cooperation for teacher training in the developing countries especially the least developed countries and small-island states. To achieve this, we have to promote continuing and lifelong education—the kind of education that is responsive to individual needs and 
preferences. In the context of DepEd, it is always emphasized by our Secretary that the kind of education we must have in the Philippines should not just be one that is quality and responsive, but one that is truly liberating. 
What does UNESCO say about climate change initiative? Education is an essential element in the global response to climate change. It helps people understand the impact of global warming. It encourages changes in their attitudes and behavior, and helps them adapt to climate change. UNESCO aims to make climate change program a more visible part in the international response to climate change. It provides quality climate change education, encouraging innovative teaching approaches to integrate climate change education in school and by raising awareness about climate change as well as enhancing non-formal education programs through media, networking, and partnerships. The focus is on five areas: adaptation, technology transfer, reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation, financing mitigation and adaptation action, and capability building. 
Education is the most powerful element in preparing society for the global challenges that climate change brings—changing minds and equipping individuals, communities, and the wider world with the skills and attitude to engage climate resilient communities. It requires leadership of the government, international organizations, and other stakeholders as well as the active participation of those groups most affected by the impact of climate change. The reiteration is for the care of the environment by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. By way of reflection, I tried to look back and count that DepEd is able to do its part with the implementation of D.O.52 s. 2011. Even private schools are included in this. 
It urges all public and private schools to lead a role in environmental awareness by enhancing environmental education and by pursuing effective school-based activities that aim to preserve and protect the environment. It calls for schools to undertake the following activities: intensify lessons regarding environment on all Science subjects, developing and using instructional materials, encouraging teachers to attend lectures and seminars, and promoting love and care of the environment. 
Our journey to globalization of education in context shall continue. We shall view the early gains of which ASEAN was founded. As early as 2005, ASEAN had agreed as a collective entity to enhance regional cooperation in education. Its core priorities are promoting awareness among ASEAN citizens particularly among the youth, strengthening ASEAN identity through education, building ASEAN human resources in the field of education, and strengthening ASEAN university 
In the end, we shall question ourselves: Have we really Asianized so far? Education lies at the core of ASEAN development process. ASEAN views education as a vehicle to raise awareness in creating a sense of belongingness to the ASEAN communities. Technological development will not stop. It will go on its natural cycle. The issue is how we can take advantage of it and not be left behind. Teachers play a crucial role in what we are trying to achieve which is called STEMpathy. The future says it is not about what we know, instead, it is about what we can do with what we know. To prosper in a rapidly changing world, our children need more than basic education. They need to be creative, critical thinkers who develop lifelong thirst for knowledge. In fact, we need learners who have intellectual humility where they know that there are a lot more things to learn. It is therefore our collective responsibility to show greater urgency. We are all in this journey in securing a brighter future for our learners—the future of the next generation. Together, we will continue to provide our learners with a relevant and responsive education that prepares them for life in an increasingly interconnected world. Are we ready for all these expectations from us? As individuals, I hope we are! 
And with that I say, God bless our country, God bless our environment, God bless our home. Thank you very much.