Sen. Chiz Escudero, Gov. Grace Padaca, Ms. CheChe Lazaro, Sen. Dick Gordon, Prof. Nicky Perlas
PhilSTAR.com: It was an afternoon of learning and sharing as people from different sectors gathered together and discussed the state of education in the country, the implications of these findings and the possible reforms that can be implemented to improve the situation and quality rather than its face value.
“There is a need to produce outcome, where results actually do matter,” said Chito Salazar, president of Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). He added since education is perceived to the nation’s future to achieve further growth and development, the country needs an education president.
“One who will put learning and learner at the center (of his platform agenda); appoint education managers who truly understand the education system and are committed to general reform; create a condition for educators to perform better, aspire higher and deliver continuous improvements; and finally the one who will not let even his own political considerations and aspirations prevent him/her from doing the right and necessary thing,” explained Salazar.
Education is just one of the series of topics for Talakayan 2010, a leadership forum hosted by the Movement for Good Governance. Described like a town hall type of meeting, the event focuses on one topic, with an expert speaker giving an overview of the issue and presidentiable aspriants serving as reactors to the keynote speech and the questions provided by the audience.
According to Bill Luz, chairman of MGG, the forum seeks to improve the quality of candidates at all levels of the government. “I think that it is also good for the candidates to be able to respond directly to the questions and listen to the audience”.
“There hasn’t been an interaction, in-depth on a single topic. It does not happen often enough I think. And with ten months to go, I hope we are able to engage in this type of big discussion on a range of topics as we get closer to the elections,” said Luz.
Luz added, “It is also very heartening to know that most of you reserved without knowing who is actually going to attend the forum tonight. I think this is a very positive trend that we like to see in MGG because we need to be more issue oriented and I’m happy that just by advertising the issue of education and not who the speakers were we actually drew such a great audience”.
To make the forum more interactive, MGG invited bloggers and gave out Internet access to all guests, enabling them to blog and share the forum with netizens online via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
“All throughout the forum, a lot of comments have been coming in from the outside,” shared Luz. “We would also like to web stream this (forum) in the future so that people can watch it live not only on TV but even on the Web. Then we would also like to get the text component, so we could do a survey or gather questions to further expand Talakayan 2010.”
Moving beyond the forum, MGG hopes to spread the idea of grading candidates running for government posts not just in the national level but even in the grassroots. Luz noted, “Our goal is to replicate this (forum) so those who want to run it in your own organization or institutions can use the template that we prepared on how to run this meeting, including the things that should be incorporated.”
Believing that the nation deserve better education, environment, economy, justice, peace and order, foreign policy, agriculture and food, overseas workers and so on, these are the topics that MGG will be focusing on from August to November. Then after the deadline of filing for candidacy, the forum will shift in debate format, with more direct questions for the final list of candidates to further help the voting public in making the right choice.