Former Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC honored the late President Benigno Aquino III – especially his contribution to the country’s education system.
“PNoy may truly be called the PH Education President,” Luistro told the Manila Bulletin in a text message on Friday, June 25.
In particular, Luistro emphasized two major milestones in the country’s education system which were achieved under Aquino’s term: the K to 12 Law and the Universal Kindergarten Act.
The Republic Act No. 10533 also known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013” has been considered by education advocates and other stakeholders as the single most important education reform in the country.
It paved the way for the K to 12 education system which replaced the 10-year basic education cycle. Under the K to 12 Program, the basic education system now has Kindergarten, six years of Elementary, four years of Junior High School (JHS) or Grades 7 to 10 and two years of Senior High School (SHS) or Grades 11 and 12.
The additional two years – through the SHS Program – aim to better prepare graduates for higher education, middle level skills development, entrepreneurship, and employment.
The Republic Act No. 10157 or the “Kindergarten Education Act,” on the other hand, made kindergarten as an integral part of the basic education system of the country. The law mandates that Kindergarten become the “first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education.”
Apart from his Universal Kindergarten and the K to 12 Laws, Luistro said that over 195,000 teachers were hired and more than 118,000 classrooms were built under Aquino’s administration.
“His political will to push for such bold education reforms with ample budget support and enabling legislation have not solved all our problems but have definitely allowed the PH to have a fighting chance to compete with the rest of the world,” Luistro said.
“May we continue his legacy and build an educated nation!” he added.
Luistro was DepEd Chief under Aquino’s term – from June 2010 to June 2016.
Prior to his appointment as DepEd Secretary, he was the President of the De La Salle Philippines.
Currently, he is Brother Visitor (Provincial Superior) of the Lasallian East Asia District – De La Salle Brothers.