PASIG CITY, June 10, 2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd), led by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, had a productive trip in Bangkok, Thailand as the Philippine delegation provided major inputs in the commitment document of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC II) held last June 5-7.

In the preparation of the final Bangkok 2022 statement towards an effective learning recovery for all and transforming education in Asia-Pacific, Secretary Briones raised the importance of enabling field participation and the further decentralization of organizational structures in education management across the region.

“We have to scrutinize our organizational structures which greatly affect how we come up with policies and programs for our constituents. We must ensure that the stakeholders in the grassroots are empowered to achieve their goals for their communities and children,” Secretary Briones said.

The Education chief also cited the initiatives implemented of various countries during the pandemic, emphasizing that governments should sustain the gains of embracing digitalization in education.

“During the period of COVID-19 when schools were closed, we were learning other ways of teaching and communicating with our pupils, involving the parents, local government units and the entire country as well,” she shared.

In the plenary session, the delegates from 46 regional member-states identified in the document that Asia-Pacific countries will prioritize Safe School Reopening, Learning Recovery and Continuity of Learning, and Transforming Education and Education Systems.

The Bangkok Statement also has provisions on the need of stronger regional collaborations and ways forward to accelerate the implementation of SDG4.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Josephine Maribojoc pushed for the emphasis of learner-centeredness and child and youth agency in the Bangkok statement.

In the proposed submission of DepEd, the preamble reads: We emphasize the urgent need for reimagining and transforming education and its systems to become more learner-centered, equitable, inclusive, learner-empowering, relevant, flexible, and resilient, address the current learning crisis, build more peaceful, inclusive, and sustainable societies, and realize SDG4.

In the provision for quality and relevance of education, DepEd added: We emphasize the significance of child and youth agency, participation and empowerment in making education relevant to their needs and circumstances.