21st Century Skills in the Philippines

In recent years, the challenges of daily life and work have undergone a transformation brought about by rapid advances in technology and globalization. Many employers and educators have noted that a new set of skills is required to succeed in this world of new challenges. Old solutions of limited scope that rely on fixed knowledge and linear thinking are being replaced by new solutions that require greater collaboration, flexibility and innovation in order to assimilate a range of changing perspectives and new technologies. The skills required have become known collectively as 21st century skills and, increasingly, employers and educators have been calling for their introduction at all levels of education and training. As a response to these emerging demands, many organisations and countries have developed 21st century skills frameworks and a number of research programs have been established to enquire into the teaching and assessment of these skills. One such project was the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills project (ATC21S), funded by Microsoft, Intel and Cisco and coordinated by the Assessment Research Centre (ARC), University of Melbourne, in collaboration with other tertiary education institutions around the world.

The Department of Education, Philippines, has integrated this approach into its K-12 education reform agenda, and through its National Educational Testing and Research Center (NETRC) is working with a team from the ARC and ACTRC to investigate the place of these skills and their implementation in the Philippines’ curriculum. In the initial stages of the project there is a thorough review conducted to identify the skills, resources and approaches that have been adopted by other countries and by international organisations. This work identifies the most appropriate and relevant 21st century skills to be taught and assessed in the Philippines. Developmental progressions of these skills and assessment instruments are being developed, and implementation will consider the alignment of current curriculum and selected 21st century skills. The overarching aim of the project is to cater for the Filipino student in terms of the needs and conditions of education and employment in the Philippines.

Project Team

Dr Esther Care, Project Leader, University of Melbourne

Dr Therese Bustos, University of the Philippines

Louie Cagasan, University of the Philippines

Joesal Marabe, University of the Philippines

Claire Scoular, University of Melbourne


The Philippines’ approach to assessment of 21st century skills, ACTRC Research Forum Presentation, 18 July 2015