For the first time, student-leaders nationwide made history as they turned over the “Youth Education Agenda” to the Department of Education (DepEd).
The “Youth Education Agenda” reflects the common sentiments, outlooks, insights, and perspectives on various social, political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the Filipino youth.
The turnover was among the highlights of the first-ever Philippine Youth Convergence (PYC) held earlier this month.
Newly-elected PYC Lead Youth Convenor Jamber Alexis J. Idulsa underscored the importance of crafting the “Youth Education Agenda” that is in the perspective of the Filipino youth.
“It is our collective statement, and it is what our voices consolidated together to stand and make an action for the Department,” Idulsa said. “This is about the youth giving representation and having a stand on matters directly affecting us, the learners,” he added.
The “Youth Education Agenda” will also be the point of deliberation of DepEd in crafting learner and youth-centered initiatives.
Meanwhile, elected regional convenors also discussed with Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones their recommendations and amendments for youth-oriented initiatives of the DepEd.
They emphasized the prioritization of the well-being and welfare of the students and ensuring research-based, data-driven, and needs-based responses to the needs of the youth, and the continuous delivery of quality, accessible, and inclusive education anchored on the truth.
The student-leaders also urged DepEd, including the government, the private sector, and the media, to continue to “commit to helping build the future of the Filipino learners.”
This, they said, can be done by “providing firm, unbiased, and moral guidance in utilizing platforms in youth engagement, and to commit to an effective and efficient system founded on accountability, integrity, and the truth.”
Briones, on the other hand, welcomed the recommendation of the youth leaders.
She noted that listening to the youth will help the education sector achieve quality and inclusive education, and emphasized that education is a responsibility of every individual.
“The education challenges are the reason why we need to listen to the youth, to listen to their views, to listen even to their wrath,” Briones said.
DepEd, she added, will also “take a closer look at your program and your presentation, and we will find out what can be done as soon as possible and find out what will take a law to address these concerns.”
While she welcomed the “Youth Education Agenda,” Briones noted that some of the concerns that were raised were “already being addressed” by DepEd.
Related to this, DepEd Assistant Secretary for Youth Affairs and Special Concerns Juan Valeriano Respicio IV called on the youth to action.
He noted that the “passion, dedication, and intelligence” the delegates demonstrated throughout the convergence made him confident in the future.
While he lauded the crafting of the “Youth Education Agenda,” he stressed that the participation of the student-leaders should not end there.
“Your continued involvement will be a prerequisite. Continue raising your voice. Continue asserting yourself. Continue being yourself and affirming to the world that you matter,” Respicio said.
He also urged the student-leaders to be “resolute in taking your seat at the table and for you to belong to the conversation.” Their concerns, he added, should take precedence and should be at the “heart of policy.”