As the country continues to grapple with the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, June 19, emphasized that education should be a “shared responsibility.”
DepEd echoed the message of Education Secretary Leonor Briones during the 5th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (5th SDEM) held last week.
“Education has become, and it is obvious now that it is, a shared responsibility. We call for the involvement of all sectors of society, in addition of course to the Ministries of Education who are leading these efforts,” Briones said.
“It is a shared responsibility because of the added threat – the health threat in our countries,” Briones said, noting that there is a need for the involvement of all sectors.
Briones also noted that challenges in the education sector cannot be separated from the problems arising in the society, particularly in the economy and crises such as COVID-19.
“The impact of COVID in the economy, for example the Philippines has been badly affected and has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs which also limits the capacity of parents to continue sending their children to school,” Briones explained.
In order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and other societal problems, Briones said that DepEd has developed a learning continuity program with the help of organizations and government agencies.
Called the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), Briones said that DepEd has introduced “blended learning and addressed the digital divide by increasing digital learning support to schools and communities that needed it the most.”
This year, Briones was elected as the Vice President of the SEAMEO Council (SEAMEC) 2021-2022 and as the Vice-Chairperson of the conference, and as part of SEAMEO’s tradition, the current SEAMEC’s Vice President will assume presidency in the next Council Meeting in 2023.
The 5th SDEM was attended by the Ministries of Education from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand. It was first conceived in 2014 as a venue to share country practices, review priority areas, and agree on the general directions of the SEAMEO.
The SEAMEO is a regional intergovernmental organization among governments of Southeast Asian countries that promotes the enhancement of regional understanding and cooperation in education, science, and culture.