By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones reiterated the importance of partnerships in addressing the various needs in education.
Briones, on behalf of the Department of Education (DepEd), conveyed gratitude to its partners and stakeholders during the Partners’ Appreciation Program held on recently at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City.
This year, the DepEd recognized more than 200 partners who extended help and invested in education through school facilities and IT support packages; infrastructure, non-infrastructure, and multi-component projects; and learners’ and teachers’ support packages under the Adopt-a-School Program.
Briones likewise reported on the public trust and approval rating of the Department which has been steadily increasing for the past two years. “Last September, we had the highest which is 84%, and this even went up in April, and then went up by September to 88%,” she added – attributing the accomplishment to the help and support extended by partners.
“The degree of the rating perhaps says that we are moving in the right direction…but again, we cannot do this alone, even if our budget will be increased so many more times,” Briones said. “This is because there’s always a need, and you are the ones who know what is really happening [and] you are the ones who know because you employ our learners, our graduates, who know what still needs to be done,” she added.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. also emphasized the importance of partnerships in education during his welcome message and statement of appreciation. “Dahil po ang mga bagay na dati hindi namin nagagawa, mga bagay na akala namin hindi namin maabot, mga bagay na akala po namin imposible, ngayon ay amin nang nagagawa…dahil po sa inyong lahat, mga pinakamamahal naming partners,” he added.
Emphasizing how partnerships go beyond the provisions of the law, Umali also noted that “partnership is a vital instrument” to ensure that the mandate of the Constitution is carried out. “Partnerships have become an important paradigm in delivering and achieving development goals and services,” he said. “Through partnerships, all the necessary stakeholders get involved to address the immediate needs of our learners, and invest to help bridge the gaps in the field of education,” he explained.
The Partners’ Appreciation Program was spearheaded by DepEd’s External Partnerships Service (EPS). Umali noted that DepEd, alone, cannot do everything. “We are not just running after your money or your resources; we’re running after your expertise, your knowledge, and your own experience with our learners who joined your organizations when they already start working,” he said. “We want to work with you because education is a joint responsibility,” he ended.