PASIG CITY, October 10, 2018 – The Department of Education (DepEd), through its International Cooperation Office (ICO), conducted the 1st Forum on Enhancing International Partnerships in Basic Education on October 3 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Central Office.
The forum served as a platform to provide information and updates on the Department’s programs and activities; enhance existing partnerships in basic education; gather information on possible partnerships in basic education; facilitate meaningful dialogue between embassy representatives and DepEd officials; and establish goodwill and strong networks among bilateral partners in the country.
In his keynote speech, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan noted the timeliness of this forum as collaboration among international communities is essential in addressing pressing concerns in the education sector.
“The conduct of this forum is timely as I am sure that the education sector is undergoing rapid changes in our respective countries. Yes, we have many gains, but we are also facing challenges,” Malaluan stated.
The Undersecretary further noted that the essence of partnerships is the idea of mutual contribution among countries: “There are deeper levels of partnerships and concrete projects that we can all engage in where we can emphasize the essence of partnership, which is the idea of mutual contribution… I’m sure we have so much to contribute, and one example is dealing with natural disasters as we often experience it.”
“Aside from providing interventions on access, quality, and delivery of education, enriching culture will always be an area of exchange and one where we are always sure we can have a mutual contribution. Part of culture is our music, literature, and arts. Culture represents not only the face of a group of people, but also their soul,” he added.
Furthermore, OIC-Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction Alma Ruby Torio discussed basic education in the Philippines, while ICO Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros explained the bilateral partnerships on basic education cooperation.
Also present at the event were DepEd regional directors and other personnel, and embassy and international community officials and representatives from Myanmar, Taiwan, Nigeria, Spain, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan, and Canada, among others.
This effort is in line with the 10-point agenda of the current DepEd administration to engage with private sector and communities, as well as with bilateral and multilateral institutions toward the fulfillment of the Department’s vision and mission.