MANILA, May 24, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones underscored the role of public administration on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) when she delivered the keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Public Administration (AAPA) held at De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde, Manila on May 22.
Participated by academicians, students, and practitioners, the three-day conference aims to tackle the transformation of governance and the innovation of development capacities of governments, institutions, and public administrations.
In view of the theme, “Challenges and Opportunities in Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and Directions for Reform and Capacity Building,” the Education chief shared the country’s efforts to achieve SDG 4—to obtain quality education—given its 27 million learners, 866,000 teachers, and 62,000 schools—47,000 of which are public.
“Now that we have gone into the access aspect—access to formal education, access to Alternative Learning System (ALS)—we are now moving to upgrading not only access, but quality,” Briones shared.
The Secretary also shared the role of the Senior High School (SHS) Program in strengthening the country’s basic education system, adding the importance of teacher exchanges, researches, and even sports exchanges. She cited the transformation of the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) and the focus on substantive capacity building as part of the many developments in education.
“We are realistic enough to know that we have a lot of catching up to do with the other countries of Asia. But we also are aware that we have much to share in terms of experience, in terms of innovation, in terms of learnings which are directly related to our history and our culture as a people,” she mentioned.
She likewise discussed how the curriculum is continually being revised and how the learning resources are continually being developed, especially in light of climate change.
Briones, a Professor Emeritus of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines, also believes that cooperation in public administration and in other fields is very important.
“I think we are going to turn public administration around and upside down at this time, considering this combination of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and SDG 4. So we have to change, and in the Department of Education, we are turning upside down our management system—our financial management system, our procurement system, and technology and information systems,” Briones added.
The Education chief, who received various awards and distinctions on public administration, then concluded: “The goals are so noble, so inspiring, so wonderful, and so nice, we forget that management is crucial in the successful achievement of all these very inspiring, noble goals that we have set for ourselves.”