United efforts needed to address challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, Briones says

Published March 6, 2021, 9:22 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Education Secretary Leonor Briones underscored the need for all the units under the Department of Education (DepEd) to come together in order to address the challenges brought about by the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) pandemic – especially in the education sector.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“We only have one year and we can only achieve our programs, our projects, and activities if we harmonize, if we work together, if each of us, each unit, each individual contributes to the sustainment of the said projects,” Briones said during the conduct of Strand Interface on Programs and Guidelines (SIPAG) Conference 2021.

Conducted from February 22 to March 3, the week-long conference was conducted to foster harmony throughout the DepEd in the implementation of Basic Education- Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) this school year.

“There is a great need to provide synchronized instructions to field implementers,” Briones said.

“We need to understand our role in the BE-LCP implementation, which is a vast undertaking [and] we would also like to issue a call for united efforts in addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

Spearheaded by Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua, the conference discussed concerns and challenges faced by DepEd personnel in the past year due to the pandemic and the rollout of programs for the incoming transition once the vaccination starts in the education sector.

SIPAG 2021 garnered a total of 3.7 million views: 2,575,176 website views; 1,211,000 views on Facebook Live; 111,626 Facebook group members; and 109,900 Zoom participants.

During the conference, other Executive Committee members of DepEd also presented various policy and program updates under their respective strands.

These include the financial report on the Bayanihan Act II and its support to the BE-LCP projects, creation of the Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Child Rights in Education Desk (CREDe), enrollment, partnerships and projects updates.

“The important goal of this session is to explain the programs that will be implemented by each Admin Strand office – how to implement these projects, how do we effectively execute these programs, and how do we monitor their implementation,” Pascua said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The strand programs developed under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2021 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last December 2020 was also discussed during the conference.

The GAA, DepEd noted, increased the teaching and connectivity allowances of public school teachers as an added assistance during the pandemic.

With the success of the event, DepEd is encouraging participants to view and share the various resources gathered and developed during the activity. DepEd officials, field coordinators, principals, school heads, and teachers may access them through: website: sipag2021.weebly.com and Facebook: facebook.com/groups/sipag2021