ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, December 16, 2019 – To ensure that ‘Sulong EduKalidad’ will be appreciated in the field, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones spearheaded its first regional rollout in Dipolog City, Zamboanga Peninsula Region (Region IX) on Friday.
Secretary Briones presented the concept of Sulong EduKalidad – the Department’s national reform plan to raise the quality of education —to the DepEd RO9 family led by Director Isabelita M. Borres and challenged them to join and promote the campaign for quality education.
“We want to focus on quality, not only for certain group but for all Filipino learners. We are looking at the entire national image. It’s not just one region. What is important is that [each] region [must perform well] and it adds up to the total,” Briones said after awarding the ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management system) certificate to DepEd RO9.
The DepEd chief discussed Sulong EduKalidad’s KITE approach (K to 12 curriculum review and update, Improving of learning environment, Teachers’ upskilling and reskilling, and Engagement of stakeholders) in addressing the issues raised in the 2018 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) results.
Sec. Briones, in her speech, underscored the importance of teachers’ upskilling in winning the ‘battle for quality education.’
“At the end of the day, moving from access to quality, it will take place in the classroom kaya ang pinaka importanteng component dito is teacher. We want to produce quality learners; therefore, we should have quality teachers,” she said.
Briones also vows to have a forum with teachers to discuss the challenges and solutions to realize quality education in the country.
“We have nowhere to go but up. Now that we know the data, we will act on such data and we seek your support. PISA is not the last word on Philippine education. It is we that should have the last word,” Briones concluded.
DepEd-DOST partnership crucial for quality education
Before the Sulong EduKalidad launch in the region, Sec. Briones also graced the inauguration of eight infrastructure projects of Philippine Science High School-Zamboanga Peninsula Region Campus (PSHS-ZRC) in Barangay Cogon, Dipolog City.
Representing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Briones commended the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for being supportive of DepEd’s quest for quality education.
“DOST has always been a great partner, adviser, helper, especially now that we are pivoting from access to quality education. We always work together in many joint endeavors related to education,” Briones said.
Briones hopes for more DOST collaboration to ensure improvement in the Filipino learners’ Mathematical and Scientific literacy.
For DOST’s part, Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña expressed his Department’s willingness to help DepEd in advancing quality education, including continuing projects on training of teachers in Science and Math, scholarships for teachers wanting to pursue Masters and Doctorate degrees, and development of approaches in Science and Math education.