MANILAThe 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized the Philippines' "proactive policies" in equipping Filipino migrants and returnees with training and education.
The GEM report titled "Migration, displacement and education: Building Bridges, Not Walls," highlights how the country recognized the skills of migrants abroad and developed policies for both overseas workers and returnees.
"When it comes to the Philippines, what stood out was the several steps that the government has taken to prepare migrants before going to countries abroad," GEM Report Director Manos Antoninis said in an interview Thursday with the Philippine News Agency.
Under the programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the country provided a combined jobrelated and predeparture vocational training, as well as longer compulsory programs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Antoninis said Manila also engaged different countries towards recognizing the skills of OFWs, and recommends continuing these approaches as an investment.
"I think it would be important to continue these approaches because emigration remains a source of income to the country, he added.
In 2017 alone, the Philippines received USD33 billion remittances from its OFWs, making the country the third largest receiver of remittances.
The current cost of remitting money is around seven percent from countries of destination to countries of origin.
"If that were to (be) reduced to the target rate of three percent, which is an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) target, USD1 billion could be generated for education to be spent by families," Antoninis noted.
In the Philippines, majority of the receiving families' spend remittances they receive on education, Antoninis said, which explains why the level of education and attainment in the country increased, while child labor decreased in households with international migrants.
Meanwhile, crafting social and education policies for Filipino children is another aspect the country can further explore on, he added.
Around 1.5 to three million children in the Philippines have parents living abroad, according to the report.
"That requires some attention on social and education policies side to make sure that these children are not left behind because many may benefit from the remittances but others may not and they are in care of other adults, and therefore have special needs that need to be taken into account," Antoninis said.
The GEM report also calculated the extent of global brain drain broken down by country level.
In the Philippines, at least 11 percent of the highlyskilled workers emigrate to another country.
While emigration of skilled nationals is traditionally seen as negative, GEM is taking a "nuanced approach," recognizing the phenomenon's positive perspective on education.
"We are taking a more nuanced approach because we recognized that the prospect of emigration for skilled people is not only negative. It also has a positive perspective because it increases incentives for people to invest in education," Antoninis explained. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency