Reducing Social Bias
“Reducing Social Bias in Knowledge Work”
By Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan, Vice President for Academic Affairs
(Welcome remarks delivered during the graduation of the first batch of students of the School of Agro-Industrial and Technical Education on September 1, 2014.)
The Philippine Star headline in the education news last Thursday reads, “Techvoc Graduates Hit 6M”! Last Thursday then was not only Alumni Day for Founders Day here at Silliman University; it was also a dramatic day for TESDA, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in our country when director general Joel Villanueva said, “We have unlocked the potential of technical-vocational education, greatly reduced the social bias against it, and made its impact felt in tackling unemployment!”
As Silliman University joins our country in its efforts at educational reform, welcome to this new day . . . where TESDA’s competency-based technical vocational education and training system has finally lifted off to meet and match the demands between employers and highly skilled employees.
Welcome too, as Silliman University’s SAITE joins our country not only in its fight against our cultural heritage, the social stigma of manual labor as dirty work – a stigma the Philippines inherited from our colonial past – but also our fight against unemployment and the dignity of labor in this Knowledge Age today! Welcome, as we take note too, that our global civilization has gone beyond the Agricultural Age where wealth was defined by the landlord’s acres of land. We have also gone beyond the second wave of civilization, the Industrial Age, where wealth was the ownership of capital. Today, welcome to the Knowledge Age, where wealth is now the ownership of knowledge and each one’s ability to use that knowledge to create or improve goods and services because of knowledge.
Welcome to this graduation today, as Silliman University’ SAITE joins our country in our fight against our poverty of knowledge, our poverty of the spirit, and the poverty of our pockets. Welcome . . . as we celebrate a historic high in the educational reform in our country – where for the first time in the past four years, TESDA has recorded over a million techvoc graduates.
With TESDA’s Philippine Qualifications Framework, the agency’s guide in preparing Filipinos for employment as it also harmonizes basic education, techvoc education, and higher education, welcome to SAITE’s first graduation celebration today!
Indeed, today is not only a celebration of your job entry into the Knowledge World; today is also a celebration of your job interest in animal production – an essential component of mankind’s food sustainability!
Welcome to the world of work in this Knowledge Society that our technological world has become today!