The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Scholars Society (PSS) held its first convention with the theme “21st Century Skills for Researchers” at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila on 20 March 2012.
“21st century skills” refer to the growing global framework that redefines the goals of education, to transform how learning is practiced, and to expand the range of measures in students’ achievement to meet the new demands of the 21st Century.
Dr. Josefina Tuazon, former Dean of the College of Nursing, University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) and President of PCHRD scholars society said “21st century skills” revolved around three major skills: life and career, learning and innovation, and information and communication technology (ICT). “In order to be productive in the 21st century, we should have the ability to quickly learn from the core of knowledge, master the essentials of innovation and technology to adapt to the increasingly information-driven and technologically-powered society. As researchers, we don’t just need statistics we need to have skills on ethical research, skills on technical writing and literacy on ICT. Researches should be publishable and can contribute to new knowledge, and most importantly, have impact to the community.”
In the plenary sessions, the following topics were discussed: Influencing policies and practices in health research by Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institute of Health (NIH-UPM); Ethical guidelines and issues concerning human subjects in health research by Dr. Godofreda Dalmacion, Assistant Director of the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology NIH-UPM; and Best evidences in preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by Dr. John Juliard Go, the National Professional Officer on Non-Communicable Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In his inspirational message, Dr. Jaime Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director emphasized the importance of investing in human resource to produce skilled and productive human capital for competitive Philippine and global markets. He also encouraged scholars to be involved in research and be part of PCHRD’s pool of research proposal evaluators and mentors.
Dr. Montoya also emphasized the importance of partnership and collaboration, “We are happy to work with you, with your intelligence, energy, sense of purpose and commitment – the country needs what you have to offer now, more than ever,” stressed Dr. Montoya.
The PSS was organized in 2007 to help PCHRD strengthen its effort to sustain an enabling environment for health research and provide avenue for health research information exchange among PCHRD scholars.