By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to implement a main policy shift geared towards ensuring that the quality of basic education is aligned with global standards.
DepEd convened partners from various sectors to form the Philippine Forum for Quality Basic Education (Educ Forum) recently held at SEAMEO Innotech, Commonwealth Ave, Diliman, Quezon City.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that while government efforts have produced major gains in access to education, “our biggest concern and challenge in basic education today is quality.”
DepEd noted that currently, there are 27.2 million Filipino children and youth who are in school – from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12).
“In terms of access, our programs are mainly focused on addressing the remaining access gaps such as schools that are located in geographically isolated, disadvantaged, and conflict-affected areas,” Briones said.
She added that despite the reforms, “we still have to reach appreciable gains in the quality of education.”
The DepEd-led consultation initiative is also expected to kick start a “main policy shift” geared towards ensuring that the quality of basic education is also aligned with global standards.
Through Educ Forum, DepEd aims to “institutionalize a platform for consultation and collaborative research in strategic basic education policy, planning, and programming to address critical issues in the implementation of quality education.”
Briones stressed that keeping pace with the “rapidly changing social and economic environment brought about by technological innovations” also make the “challenge of meeting current quality standards” needed for basic education more challenging. Despite this, she assured that DepEd will continue to initiate reforms that would help improve the quality of the country’s basic education system.
“We can’t be static,” she said.
Aside from being a venue for consultation and collaborative efforts in strategic basic education policy, planning, and programming designed to address pressing issues that affect the delivery and implementation of quality education in the country, the DepEd noted that the Educ Forum will also serve as a “vehicle for DepEd to join the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).”
The GPE, DepEd explained, is “an international multi-stakeholder partnership platform that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries in order to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning.”
The 2019 Educ Forum gathered DepEd and education partners, including civil society organizations, education sector organizations, private organizations and foundations, bilateral agencies, and multilateral organizations whose representatives also provided inputs and observations to help improve the country’s basic education system.