DepEd vows to further address needs, gaps in delivering basic education inputs

Published October 2, 2021, 4:03 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To reaffirm its commitment under the Open Government Partnership for the 5th National Action Plan (NAP) 2019-2022, the Department of Education (DepEd) sealed an agreement with the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Education Cluster in adopting an open participatory monitoring and evaluation platform.

Photo from DepEd

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that this partnership agreement defines “our responsibilities and our commitments” to the Open Government Partnership 5th National Action Plan.

“The delivery of education services is more meaningful and effective and relevant if there is shared responsibility among the various stakeholders,” she said.

Briones added that aside from addressing the needs and gaps in delivering basic education inputs, the “mechanism seeks to strengthen the capability” of DepEd in monitoring and accounting for investments — including assessing if the programs reached rightful recipient public schools, matched the actual needs on the ground, and served the intended learning outcomes.

Due to the current health situation brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the global OGP has extended the implementation of agency commitments under the 5th NAP, allowing updates and recalibration of respective commitments and focus programs.

The DepEd responded by adding another focus intervention to the participatory monitoring of the Last Mile Schools Program, the distribution of computer packages to learners and educators in the 44 targeted last mile school beneficiaries.

Photo from DepEd

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla underscored the need to be “mindful and be guided by the principles” of transparency, accountability, integrity, partnership, consultation, mutual empowerment, respect for internal processes, sustainability, and national interest.

“This event is a call to action,” Sevilla said. “We shall not falter and we will remain resolute in fulfilling our commitment today and beyond,” she added.

For this to succeed, Sevilla said that “we need the whole-of-government and whole-of-society perspective approaches and actions, and this will lead us to policy coherence and to new ways of working that will engage the CSOs, the private sector, and the stakeholder communities and individuals.

E-NET Philippines President and CSO Commitment Holders for Education Representative Professor Flora Arellano, on the other hand, stressed that the partnership reflects the collective commitment to reach out to the marginalized, excluded, and vulnerable learners in the last mile schools.

For Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Rolando Toledo, the MOA signing is a “celebration of open governance in the education sector and a milestone in enhancing transparency and accountability in education service delivery.”