By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Department of Education (DepEd) is shifting its focus from access to quality education, Secretary Leonor Briones revealed.
In a recent press conference in Cebu, Briones said achieving quality learning entails three important steps. The first is designing and implementing effective learning systems to align competencies, standards, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and examinations.
The second is to develop outstanding teachers and school leaders.
The third is to ensure that students come to school to learn throughout their school career, drawing on an effective early years’ education and supportive relationships with their parents.
“While participation rates are up, we still cannot as yet leave access issues behind. Our access interventions must come from understanding the reasons why certain students drop out or are not in schools,” the secretary said.
She stressed the need to find long-term solutions to reduce the drop-out rate by looking at its causes and effects at home and family fronts.
Briones noted that boys quit school to work to augment the family income, while teenage pregnancies push girls to drop out.
There is an ever greater need for a curriculum review to refine K to 12 within the next five years by offering the Noli Mi Tangere, Ibong Adarna, Philippine History through the creative arts such as ballet, theater, musical presentations especially those stories that depict moral values for children and history-encouraging movies.
Briones added that upgrade in the quality of National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP Transformation) will strengthen the development of teachers and school leaders.
She said DepEd’s priority infrastructure program includes the Last Mile School Project, with a P40-billion allocation to build, repair and upgrade of school buildings in remote areas and those damaged by typhoon and other calamities.
The Last Mile School initiative also includes access, electrical upgrades, and installation of solar panels, and disaster repair and relief, Briones said.