The Commission on Higher Education challenged higher education institutions (HEIs) to transform themselves into “engines of innovation” that will bring Filipinos to a sustainable path towards inclusive growth.
The 2nd National Extension Conference at Regal Hotel, Davao City on November 29 to 30, 2016 has gathered more than 200 extension directors, teachers and extension workers from HEIs nationwide for to roll out its new policies on extension and share the best practices on community and industry engagement.
In a press conference, Dr. Napoleon K. Juanillo Director of Office of Planning, Research and Knowledge Management said that the objective of the conference is for all the participants to interiorize the idea that HEIs, both public and private, are platforms for innovations.
“Extension cannot be anymore separate from research,” he said adding that it is envisioned to be purpose-specific utilizing the best data, science, and evidences from a range of discipline to help society.
Under the new extension framework, CHED hopes to bring teachers and extension workers to be more aware of the problems in their communities and propose solutions that may be a product of their research resulting to mature technologies, or accidental innovations from basic research or expertise.
Juanillo also said that HEIs should develop intellectual and human capital.
He added that the role of HEIs in attaining inclusive growth is to serve as platforms for innovations.
“In other words, they will create solutions, they try to discover, they try to search for answers, in so doing, they have to really produce an army of thinkers,” he said.
Juanillo further said that college and universities should not be producing students who are looking for jobs, but as much as possible, create jobs.
“Be independent, be on your own, because we want a nation of thinkers, of creators of job collaborators. We want a nation that’s known to innovate, to create, imaginative people,” he said.
For the process to become inclusive, the director pointed out that when it comes to education, one’s status in life should not be an issue.
“Pag dating sa brain, walang mahirap at mayaman”, stressed Juanillo.
He added that it doesn’t matter if one is “a Juan Dela Cruz or a Juan Ayala”.
Finally, Juanillo said that the end goal of every HEI is to produce students who can produce solutions to the persisting problems in the country.