The Philippines makes history once again as it joins a review body that would set the science education policy of an international organization for the next seven years.
The only ASEAN country to join the panel, the Philippines joins the big wigs in the international science education scene in reviewing the science education policy of the International Council for Science (ICSU), an international non-governmental organization devoted to international co-operation in the advancement of science.
Deliang Chen, Executive Director of ICSU, said the organization has confirmed the nomination of Science Education Institute Director Dr. Ester B. Ogena by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) to ICSU's review panel.
In a letter to Ogena, Chen said the panel would be meeting twice a year starting next year in Paris to start its deliberation on the policy directions on science education.
According to Chen, the strategic review would include an assessment of ICSU's past and current activities in relation to science education, a consideration of the broader context of science education and a recommendation on the future mandate for ICSU on science education.
The review panel will be chaired by Dr. Roberta Johnson, the executive director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association in the United States.
ICSU, formerly called the International Council of Scientific Unions, was founded in 1931 whose members include national scientific bodies, and international scientific unions, including the International Mathematical Union, the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
ICSU was founded to bring together natural scientists in international scientific endeavors. As of 2007, it comprises 113 multi-disciplinary National Scientific Members, Associates and Observers (scientific research councils or science academies) representing 133 countries and 29 international, single-discipline Scientific Unions. ICSU also has 24 Scientific Associates.
In response, Ogena expressed gratitude to the recognition given by the international to the Philippines.
"We will put forward the interest of the Filipino people as well as our ASEAN neighbors as we join the strategic review panel of ICSU's science education policy," she said.
Ogena said that it is the first time that the Philippines would be taking part in a science education policy review panel at the international level.
"We hope to take science education at a different level that would be more relevant to the people and to the recent developments we are experiencing," she said.