Angara to continue Sara’s programs

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Angara to continue Sara�s programs
In this May 25, 2024 Facebook post shows Sen. Sonny Angara.
Facebook / Sonny Angara

MANILA, Philippines —  Newly appointed Department of Education Secretary Sonny Angara will reach out to Vice President Sara Duterte to continue the good programs she initiated in the DepEd.

Angara vowed to coordinate with his predecessor for guidance in managing the DepEd. He noted that his priorities include the streamlining of the curriculum of basic education.

“I think that’s the right direction. I think the program started at certain grade levels. Good programs will be continued. There are ongoing reviews of existing programs started by the Vice President, so whatever the results of those reviews, we will adopt the recommendation,” Angara said on Wednesday.

He admitted that his new task as education secretary is a challenge despite his extensive experience as a lawmaker.

In a phone interview with Senate reporters on Tuesday, Angara said he would ask other senators who joined the Cabinet for advice on how to do his job as head of the biggest department in the executive branch of government.

Meanwhile, teachers’ groups are urging Angara to undo his predecessor’s policies to truly move forward in addressing the education crisis.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers proposed scrapping the Matatag curriculum as education stakeholders see the new curriculum as too ambitious and cannot be backed by resources.

ACT also urged Angara to support substantial salary increases for teachers and education support personnel, as well as to scrap the Results-based Performance Management System in DepEd and halt the order to submit the Individual Performance Commitment and Review form.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition advised the new DepEd chief to revise the current curriculum to align with the Filipino sociocultural context and reinstate Philippine history in high school.

“Senator Angara will face formidable challenges in DepEd and we stand ready to cooperate to overcome these for the education sector’s benefit,” TDC said.

On Tuesday, Angara accepted the position to be vacated by Vice President Duterte on July 19.

Met with Marcos Jr.

Angara revealed that President Marcos met with him over the weekend, when the Chief Executive shared his ideas on addressing the problem of the education sector. He said the President also asked him about his plans if he will be appointed to the DepEd.

He described the interview as a little informal after a concert in Malacañang.

He vowed to also work on addressing the overloading of teachers as DepEd has started offering items for nonteaching personnel to unload teachers and allow them to focus on their teaching.

On the K-12, Angara said he would “follow whatever policy direction is set by Congress as the highest policy-setting body.”

He also noted “President Marcos wants us to improve our low scores in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) and curriculum improvement.”

The new DepEd chief received the endorsements of key educational organizations, including the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, according to the Presidential Communications Office.

Lawmakers also praised Marcos’ move to appoint Angara to the vacated post, saying it was a “wise choice” made by the Chief Executive with the senator’s slew of credentials and expertise in the field of education, as told by the chairman of the House appropriations committee Rep. Zaldy Co.

“With Senator Angara at the helm of DepEd, I am confident that we will see enhanced cooperation between the government and educational institutions,” Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera said. “This collaborative approach is essential to achieving our goal of providing every Filipino child with access to quality education.” –  Delon Porcalla

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