KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, July 31, 2019 – Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones highlighted the Department of Education’s (DepEd) four major inclusion programs and action in response to the challenges of education in the country relative to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In her speech during the 4th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 24, Briones first presented the context of education in the country, as well as the pressing concerns that the Philippine education faces.
“We have 27.2 million learners in public and private school — that’s the enormity of the challenge and our job… We have 889,700 workforce composed primarily of teachers,” she added.
Briones then underscored the country’s very strong legal framework for accessibility of education: “The Constitution itself provides that education should be made available to all—not just access to education, but quality education. The Constitution provides that the largest item of expenditure should go to education in the national budget in addition to other sources of financial support.”
The Secretary further shared the four major inclusion programs of the Department: The Alternative Learning System (ALS), a second chance education for out-of-school youth and adults, which she said the President strongly supports; the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Program; the Digital Rise Program; and the Last Mile Schools Program which aims to reach out to schools which have been “left behind due to distance, size, and isolation from the rest of the country.”
The 4th SDEM aimed to provide a platform where ministers can discuss issues and trends in education affecting the region in the digital era and the Industry 4.0. It also aimed to make the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization’s (SEAMEO) education goals relevant and responsive to the changing times.
Also present in the event were DepEd Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, DepEd International Cooperation Office Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros, and other officials of DepEd Central Office.