Real understanding of PH education crisis
(Due to its relevance, we yield this space to the statement of the University of the Philippines - College of Education on the appointment of the next Secretary of the Department of Education. – Ed.)
THE PHILIPPINES faces an education crisis. Problems that have hounded Philippine education have been compounded by the COVID- 19 pandemic which necessitated measures that affected the learning of students. Quality of teaching remains a serious problem. Resources are scant. Teachers continue to be overworked and underpaid. Access to education is not inclusive, with students in some areas benefiting from better support while those in far-flung areas receiving very little assistance. The next Secretary of the Department of Education faces monumental challenges that need a serious, sustained, and concerted effort to overcome.
The current state of education demands that the next Department of Education Secretary prepare and execute a comprehensive and inclusive post-pandemic education program. The coming leader should present innovative solutions to perennial education issues about teachers’ welfare, equitable access to education, responsive curriculum, and inclusive education, among others.
The next DepEd secretary should have not only the right academic qualifications and experience but also a long-standing advocacy on educationrelated issues and a deep understanding and commitment to alleviating the plight of students, teachers, researchers, and staff. This leader should ensure that individuals who possess the requisite qualifications, experience, and track record are engaged to help face challenges and move Philippine education forward.
The new Secretary should commit to protecting our people’s history that documents both our hardships and hard-won triumphs. Therefore, the next education leader should ensure the teaching of history based on facts and not myths and subjective interpretations. With the rampant spread of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation, the next Secretary should ensure that education will be used to fight lies and expose the truth.
Finally, our education leader should value and protect our youth’s expression of beliefs and critical stance on important issues because this is a clear manifestation of the successful achievement of our education’s goal in developing citizens who are critical thinkers and protectors of our democratic processes. It is their brave contribution and commitment to their civic duties as Filipino citizens.
The College of Education commits to its mandate to uphold quality education and Filipino values, and we expect the Department of Education, under the leadership of a new Secretary, to do the same.
Lagi’t lagi para sa bata at para sa bayan!