May 25, 2021 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones highlighted the vital role of stakeholders at the local and global level in raising awareness and action on education for sustainable development (ESD) at the UNESCO World Conference last Tuesday.

“Learning, including education for sustainable development, is a shared responsibility. We need to integrate planning and to pull resources and ensure that we are able to connect various learning spaces, formal and informal, physical and virtual and in-person and remote that supports social and active learning and provide access to learning resources that enrich learning,” Secretary Briones said in her message during the conference.

The education chief added that promoting ESD is in the agency’s priorities as she laid out the Department’s efforts in researching, monitoring, and institutionalizing policies and programs for sustainable development.

“The Philippine Department of Education recognizes the urgency to deepen our commitment and action to inculcate among our learners the awareness, knowledge, values, and capacity for sustainable development through education and learning,” she said.

“We have convened the Education Forum for Inclusive Quality Education or Educ Forum. [Our] partners, including civil society organizations, education sector organizations, and foundations coming from the private sector, bilateral agencies, and multilateral organizations, shall ensure that education for sustainable development will be among its key areas of work,” Briones shared.

The Department, through the Education Futures Programme, is also collaborating with various stakeholders in creating integrated designs of future learning spaces to cover formal, informal, physical, virtual, and remote spaces, including ESD.

The Education Chief noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the Department’s perspective and increased community participation regarding learning space and processes despite the distance.

“The disruption of in-school learning, delivery at a large scale, has necessitated that we reach out to households and communities to be active partners in the learning process,” she mentioned.

Organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany and the German Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO World Conference for Sustainable Development was held virtually from May 17 to 19, 2021.