UNESCO, in cooperation with SEAMEO INNOTECH, organized the National Workshop on the Development of Open Educational Resources (OER) Policies from 23 to 24 September 2015 in Quezon City, Philippines. The workshop was held within the framework of UNESCO’s project on Supporting the Paris OER Declaration, which is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Twenty-two high-level officials were present representing four key national agencies developing OER policies in the Philippines: the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Education (DepED), and the University of the Philippines. The workshop also included representatives from Creative Commons Philippines, SEAMEO INNOTECH, and the UNESCO South East Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEACLLSD). It was the first time the Government of Philippines has engaged in a comprehensive cross-agency discussion and planning exercise around OER.
The agenda included discussion on how to determine the most effective way to craft an OER policy relevant to the Philippines. A series of panels were led by UNESCO and Filipino experts on the framework of OER policy development around the themes: global trends of the development and implementation of OER polices, essentials of OER in relation to open licensing, on-going OER initiatives in different areas of the education system of the Philippines, and workshops for the planning and drafting of the OER policy.
All participating agencies agreed that a joint and sector-wide policy for OER should be developed. A joint memorandum of understanding was drafted in the workshop with a view to finalizing it before the next presidential elections in May 2016. The cross-agency OER committee also established a long-term vision to pursue OER legislation in the Philippines, which included the revision of existing policy documents to include OER elements.