By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) convened key education leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss how policies, plans and strategies for lifelong learning could be developed or strengthened in the country.
DepEd, University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education (SEAMEO) convened for a High Level Policy Forum on Lifelong Learning at the SEAMEO Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH) in Diliman, Quezon City. The policy forum, which carried the theme, “From Agenda to Action: 1st Philippine Forum on Lifelong Learning,” aimed to inform participants on the Sustainable Development Goal 4-Education 2030 Framework for Action and the lifelong learning approach to education, and equip them with knowledge on current policies, plans and strategies for lifelong learning, as well as their provision in the specific context of the country and of the region.
DepEd said it also “served as a platform to discuss how policies, plans and strategies for lifelong learning could be developed or strengthened in the country, drawing on examples of effective and relevant policies and practices at national and regional level and a gap analysis.” This event, DepEd added, also targeted to “strengthen partnerships and networks among professionals and organizations involved in lifelong learning, and provide recommendations on how to develop/strengthen lifelong learning policies, plans and strategies.”
Present during the event were Undersecretaries Nepomuceno Malaluan, Lorna Dino, and Jesus Mateo, DepEd-International Cooperation Office (ICO) Director Margarita Ballesteros, and other officials and personnel of the DepEd.
Mateo, in his speech, reported the current lifelong learning programs of DepEd including the Flexible Learning Options (FLO) for learners who have difficulty in coping with the requirements of formal education, or who want to upgrade or enhance their skills, knowledge and competencies in order to improve their social, political, and economic wellbeing. Under this are the Alternative Learning System (ALS) and Alternative Delivery Modes (ADMs).
“Both are for learners who were not able to complete basic education, but ALS is for those youth beyond the school age, while ADMs are for school-age children,” Mateo said.
Mateo also highlighted the inclusion programs that promote access to culture-sensitive and special educational needs of learners. These are the Indigenous Peoples’ Education (IPEd), Special Education (SPED) Program, and Madrasah Education Program (MEP).
DepEd, Mateo added, also provides training and development programs for the continuing professional development of teaching and nonteaching personnel through the Human Resource Development Program, and the Learning Action Cells which develop and support successful teachers by “nurturing their knowledge, attitudes, and competencies in terms of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in their work station.”
Meanhwhile, Malaluan shared the Department’s new initiatives to complement its other inclusion programs, through the leadership of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, the ALS Education and Skills Training (ALS-EST) which is soon to roll out.
The ALS Education and Skills Training will integrate skills training opportunities in our traditional basic education interventions,” Malaluan ended.