January 30, 2020 – As part of the International Day of Education (IDE) celebration, the Department of Education (DepEd), together with international education advocates, on Monday lauded the efforts of teachers worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic during the Stories of Revitalization and Excellence: 2021 IDE Virtual Forum.

With the theme, “Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation”, various international resource speakers shared their respective insights, experiences, and best practices in facing the new normal in the education system.

“Thanks to our teachers who, along with us, bore with the terrible burden of transitioning to COVID-19 education with all these demands on teaching, on curriculum [and] on technology, as well as all the requirements to make a small, effective in delivering learning,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said in her keynote speech.

“Our people are prepared to make all the sacrifices necessary, do everything to make sure that our children get the education we believe they deserve which will prepare them for the life that lies ahead of them,” Sec. Briones added.

Secretary Briones also pointed out various interventions that the Department has introduced amid the pandemic to ensure the learning continuity that includes the contextualization of the Basic Education – Learning Continuity Plan and the introduction of Education Futures Programme (Educ Futures).

Furthermore, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan dissected the four pillars of the Department’s Sulong EduKalidad launched in December 2019 in improving the education system in the Philippines.

As part of the distinguished speakers, the Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO Paris, France Ms. Stefania Giannini discussed that countries should do collaborations and re-imagine education for the learners as we approach the future.

Ranjitsinh Disale, the 2020 Global Teacher Prize Winner from India, shared his journey in overcoming the challenges of education while Ms. Nadia Lopez, the Founding Principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in the USA, argued the importance of academic leaders taking care of teachers and learners amid the global crisis.

On the other hand, the Deputy Director of SEAMEO Secretariat Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman imparted education interventions of the members of the Southeast Asian region, while Global Teacher Prize Finalist from Turkey Ms. Nurten Akkus conveyed her initiatives in helping the teachers from her country.

Barbara Ana Zielonka, the 2018 Global Teacher Prize Top Ten Finalist from Norway, talked about the use of education technology in achieving learning excellence globally.

Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource, and Organizational Development Jesse Mateo and Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio also represented the DepEd in the said forum.

“I have been able to really demonstrate that education can be an instrument for creating a different kind of life that I’ve been able to offer… I fully believe, indeed, that education should be a priority of everyone,” said Undersecretary San Antonio.

Under the United Nations’ mandate, the IDE should be celebrated during the 24th day of January annually as the world continues to find ways in improving the education system and making it more inclusive to everyone.