DepEd: Time to shift focus on quality of education
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With access to basic education significantly improving in recent years, the Department of Education (DepEd) has underscored the need to shift focus on addressing the quality of education in the country.

The DepEd on Tuesday led the launch of Sulong EduKalidad, which seeks to intensify efforts to improve the quality of education in the Philippines.

“We always remind ourselves that our constitutional mandate to provide every Filipino not only access to education but also to basic quality education. We have realized that we are facing the reality that we still have much to do in responding to the constitutional mandate as far as quality education is concerned,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.  

“While we are very happy to see major development in terms of access to basic education, we finally need to respond to the biggest lingering challenge of basic education in the country: quality, particularly of our students’ learning outcomes,” she added.

Briones said the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment results put in even sharper focus on the need to address quality in basic education.

“The first challenge is to produce a new breed of learners – learners who think criti-c-ally. Critical thinking is not about teaching our children to criticize,” she said.

Various stakeholders have expressed commitment to support the DepEd’s pivot to improve the quality of education.                 

Both Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and Rep. Roman Romulo – chairs of the Senate and House committees on basic education, respectively – stressed the need for all stakeholders to work together to improve the quality of education in the Philippines.

For its part, the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) committed to work with the government, civil society and the academe to identify strategies to address key challenges in the education sector.

“We caution against the PISA results becoming a cause for finger-pointing, blaming and shaming. We believe that the PISA results are the responsibility of all, and not the accountability of one administration,” said the private sector-led group.

“It is only with everyone pitching in towards one vision of high quality education for all can we move learning from this base to greater heights,” it added.

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