DepEd launches ‘MATATAG’ agenda to resolve challenges in basic education 

To set the new direction for the Department of Education (DepEd) and stakeholders in resolving basic education challenges, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte on Monday, Jan. 30, launched the agency’s education agenda.

To resolve basic education woes, the Department of Education (DepEd) launched its "MATATAG" agenda during the presentation of the Basic Education Report (BER) on Jan. 30, 2023. (From left, Rep. Roman Romulo, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian) . Photo by ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte unveiled the new battle cry of the basic education sector dubbed “MATATAG: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa.”

“We will rally for an improved learning system in the country,” Duterte said as she addressed around 400 education stakeholders during the presentation of Basic Education Reports (BER) 2023. “Together, we will rally for every Filipino child. Para sa isang MATATAG na Bayan. Para sa ating mahal na Pilipinas,” she added.

During the event which was attended by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Duterte laid down the challenges and recent accomplishments of DepEd and led the launch of the agency’s education agenda.

The presentation of the BER 2023 was also attended by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Rep. Roman Romulo, and other education partners.

Duterte explained that the “MATATAG” will have four critical components.

It will focus on making curriculum relevant to produce competent and job-ready, active, and responsible citizens; taking steps to accelerate delivery of basic education facilities and services; taking good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education, and a positive learning environment; and give support to teachers to teach better.

"We know that the road will be bumpy, but our direction is clear,” Duterte said. “We know that the challenges are vast, but we Filipinos are resilient. We will overcome,” she added.

In the BER 2023, Duterte also provided specific directions and initiatives.

In particular, the direction of the agency will highlight improving the curriculum by focusing on foundational skills and embedding peace competencies; building more resilient schools and classrooms; strengthening inclusive education programs, advocating for teachers’ additional benefits; and providing professional development programs, among others.

Likewise, Duterte also urged the stakeholders to join DepEd in building a “MATATAG” nation.

“Improving access, equity, equality, resiliency, and well-being will not happen overnight, nor it can be done by DepEd alone,” Duterte said. “We need a national commitment and sustained effort from all sectors of the society,” she added.