Legal framework, financing must be considered to benchmark education —Briones

Published July 28, 2021, 5:52 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones cited the national policies, financing, and regional efforts as “crucial” in setting global and regional benchmarks for the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) 2030 indicators to keep an eye on the “real progress” of the member states of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Education (UNESCO).

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

She stressed this during the UNESCO’s 2021 Global Education Meeting (GEM) on July 13.

“We have to look at the legal framework because countries, which are now being benchmarked according to comparative standards, are not necessarily similar in the legal framework, especially in the role of the head of the state who manages the struggle against COVID (coronavirus disease),” she said in a statement on Wednesday, July 28.

“The matter of financing is crucial and for the past 50 years, we’ve been talking about financing development. And, we have not found a solution, particularly for middle and lower-income countries. Benchmarking can be influenced by the availability of financing,” she added.

Over 80 education representatives and advocates worldwide, including Briones attended the 2021 GEM Ministerial Segment, which was organized by UNESCO together with the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee. The attendees vowed to continue improving international cooperation among the education sector.

Briones relayed to the GEM participants the country’s implementation of a blended learning approach similar to other countries in Southeast Asia and the development of a learning continuity plan to address the challenges in education amid the coronavirus pandemic.

During the event, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay laments the worsening educational gaps due to the pandemic: inequality of learning access, high female school dropout rates, and budget gap, citing a survey covering 142 countries.

Quoting the UNESCO official, DepEd said 11 million people in the world could fall below the reading skills threshold, and it would take 11 years for 23 member-states of the organization to catch up.

Azoulay urged member-states of UNESCO to improve global cooperation mechanism by promoting evidence-based policy formulation and implementation, enhancing collection and availability of data, and driving financing mobilization and better spending.