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Swiss Embassy, Swiss companies in Phl share lifelong learning opportunities with Filipino students

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Text and photos by Monsi A. Serrano

More than the breathtaking mountains, coveted Swiss watches, cheese, and chocolates, among others, Switzerland has a lot to brandish and offer to the world.

On November 9, the “Day of the Future” was launched for the first time in the Philippines and spearheaded by the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines.

The event shares opportunities with Filipino students to immerse and learn firsthand the real working environments with Swiss companies in the Philippines and gain firsthand experience in various professional fields and interests.

In terms of education, Switzerland is known for its strong vocational and professional education system. Graced by the Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Dr. Nicolas Brühl, the “Day of the Future” originates in Switzerland and annual tradition wherein the students get exposed to a unique opportunity in real working environments and help them understand the nuances of their respective interests.

Now piloted in the Philippines to various high school students, it hopes to foster curiosity and enhance their preferred interest in the particular field they want to explore.

Swiss companies and education advocate partners like Roche, Novartis, Endress + Hauser, Holcim, SGS, ERNI, Ivoclar Vivadent, SGS, Impact Acoustic, and Nestle support the Swiss Embassy’s initiative that will certainly help the students to be inspired by their experience and pursue their desired interest and eventually excel in their career.

Ambassador Brühl underscores the importance of education and that the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines will continue to provide opportunities to young Filipino students to immerse and learn from the best practices of Swiss companies that would eventually pave the way to enhance their career and professional journey for their future and the future of the country.

(In photo: His Excellency Dr. Nicolas Brühl, Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines)

The Swiss envoy said that the Swiss Embassy and partner Swiss companies hope that the insights and experiences that the students will gain during their immersion will introduce them to the concept of vocational training and inspire them to consider this path.

“Vocational training not only equips you with practical skills but also empowers you to make informed choices about future careers. It is an avenue where passions can be turned into professions”, he said.

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Meanwhile, Roche (Philippines) General Manager Dr. Diana M. Edralin, speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS said, “We need to come up with an integrated educational program in the Philippines that would provide opportunities and solutions to address the challenges of education. This can happen when there’s a strong public-private partnership.”

In photo: Roche (Philippines) General Manager Dr. Diana M. Edralin

“This is what we are advocating in Roche to forge partnerships with various stakeholders. For instance education of our farmers and fisherfolk. Their median age is above 50 years old, and if no one will take care of them, then we will have issues with food security,” Dr. Edralin said.

She also pointed out that the immersion of our young Filipino students will help them process their thoughts and choice of profession or career and see how they can contribute to the nation’s growth and development.

Joel Chong, Country President of Novartis Healthcare Philippines on the other hand sees that the exposure that the students will have would lead them to find innovative solutions to various problems in the country such as agriculture, climate change, education, and more.

In photo: Joel Chong, Country President of Novartis Healthcare Philippines

Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Chong said, “All of us Swiss companies who joined this noble project of the Swiss Embassy, believe that as well rolled this out today, we can inspire many young Filipinos to explore how they can contribute to nation-building, through the experience and learnings they will gain from this program.”

For her part, Céline Fürst, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy and the proponent of the “Day of the Future” said during the sideline interview with THEPHILBIZNEWS, “We are elated to see the positive response from our advocate partners, the Swiss companies in the Philippines, the Department of Education and the Swiss Cultural Fund Philippines. We look forward to continuing this project and bringing in more Swiss companies to support this project and reach more Filipino students across the Philippines.”

(In photo: Céline Fürst, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy)

“In Switzerland, we believe in the importance of empowering young people and helping them discern and achieve their full potential as individuals. With their varying interest, the immersion will help them see what are the different career paths they can take and prepare them way ahead before they pursue their choice about the reality of what are the skills and knowledge that they need to acquire to achieve their goal,” she added.

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