Assoc. Prof. Ma. Ninia I. Calaca of the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the College of Science spoke in the plenary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sub-Regional Meeting on Education Recovery and Transformation, held in Bali, Indonesia from October 26-27, 2022. delivered her plenary talk on “Transformation for Future Education: The Philippine Higher Education Experience”. In her talk, she discussed three major points: (1) The Challenges and Opportunities of the Philippine Higher Education: Initial Results of Rapid Appraisal of Learning Gains, Loss, and Well-being in Higher Education; (2) Catch-up Plan of the Philippine Higher Education to Address Learning Challenges in Higher Education; and (3) the Role of Distance Learning and Trends in the Philippine Higher Education in Post Pandemic.The UNESCO sub-regional meeting supports the call of the UN Secretary General in its Transforming Education System (TES) Summit in New York in September 2022. It recognizes that education is a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights, and sustainable development. As the world emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, the Summit has provided an opportunity to mobilize greater commitment, and action to reverse the slide on SDG 4, reimagine education, and accelerate progress on education and the 2030 Agenda more broadly for the remainder of the Decade of Action. UNESCO Jakarta, the sub-regional main office that includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Philippines, and Brunei, as a response to the call, organized a Sub-Regional Meeting on Education Recovery and Transmission. The sub-regional meeting was a follow up to the action tracks commitment on TES, aiming to discuss on sub-regional’s education trends and key issues. Discussions generated recommendations for the subregion to going forward in terms of priority actions and implementation strategies from the perspective system transformation and building resilience and improving learning for accelerating progress towards SDG4.
With the UNESCO Invitation to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to the Sub-Regional Meeting, the CHED Commission en Banc nominated Assoc. Prof. Ninia Calaca as the country representative for Higher Education. Calaca is a Member of the CHED Technical Working Group for Flexible Learning, the TWG in-charge of the policies and directions during and post-pandemic, and a CHED Technical Panel on Transnational Education and Distance Education since 2015. She is instrumental to several researches of the Commission during the pandemic, and in determining future directions of the higher education. Initially, Calaca presented ‘The Challenges and Opportunities of the Philippine Higher Education: Initial Results of Rapid Appraisal of Learning Gains, Loss, and Well-being in Higher Education’ in the Philippine Social Development Council – Technical Board Meeting last September 2, 2022 as CHED Technical Expert. Her exposure on SDGs started when she studied in New Zealand, for her second Masteral in Development Studies. Her contributions to SDGs were reinforced by her industry experience, working with the company CEO who chairs four (4) UN Committees, and who introduced the 17th SDG on Partnerships for the GOALS.