Education system under Marcos admin a year after

As the country awaits the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday, July 24, an advocacy group looked forward to hearing about the government's progress, achievements, and plans for the country.


The Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), founded and led by the country's top business leaders advocating education reforms on learning and employability to contribute to an improved quality of life for every Filipino, assessed the status of education a year under the Marcos administration.

Achievements, areas of improvement

PBEd noted that among the “promises” that were fulfilled from the first SONA was the return to face-to-face classes with more than 28 million students enrolled for School Year (SY) 2022-2023 despite the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After highlighting in his first SONA the need to review of K to 12 curriculum, PBEd noted that the Department of Education (DepEd) is currently reviewing the Senior High School (SHS) curriculum.

“It has also completed the revised K to 10 curriculum that will be implemented starting 2024 to 2025,” the group noted.

Meanwhile, PBEd noted specific “promises” not were yet fulfilled one year after.

Among these is the repair of school buildings with the help of Local Government Units (LGUs).

PBEd noted that DepEd has “no updates on the devolution of construction of education facilities to LGUs.” However, it conducted a National Planning Conference on School Building Program last February.

The implementation of refresher courses and training for teachers, PBEd said, has not yet materialized.

DepEd-National Educators' Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) and the National Network of Normal Schools, PBEd said, are co-developing a Professional Development Curriculum for Teachers Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Excellence in Teacher Education ACT was issued a year after it became a law.

But, this “has yet to be funded,” PBEd said.

Producing better quality learning materials, PBEd said, is also among the challenges that have yet to be addressed.

“DepEd created a composite team to evaluate the procurement of learning materials,” PBEd noted.

Moreover, PBEd said that there are still concerns about the provision of internet, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) devices, and tools.

PBEd noted that DepEd and the National Development Company partnered with ABC Tech Ventures to provide learners with tablets for SY 2022-2023 but only “three percent (3%) of the target packages were delivered.”

The improvement in International Rankings especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, PBEd said, is still not addressed.

While DepEd has adopted the National Learning Recovery Program to improve the literacy and numeracy of students, PBEd noted that “no national or international assessments published yet.”

Likewise, PBEd noted that the re-examination of the medium of instruction in schools is still ongoing.

Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte committed to reviewing the implementation of the Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) Policy while improving the English proficiency of students, PBEd said.

Make education a priority

Considering the impact of education in our society, PBEd expressed hope that more concrete plans and measures to address the learning crisis in the country will be addressed.

“I think what we really want to hear first is that it [education] has to be a priority,” said PBEd Executive Director Justine Raagas in a pre-SONA presser last week. “Everybody has to be really all hands on deck,” she added.

Raagas said that what education advocates want to hear from Marcos in his second SONA is not just solutions to issues that are “very tangible” like classrooms or the return to face-to-face classes.

“It could be a mandate directing them [concerned agencies] to really pursue long-term changes, really pursue improvement [for the education sector],” Raagas said.

In particular, Raagas said that the President should mention initiatives for the welfare and support of teachers and learners; ensure that there will be assessment; and proper remediation and catching up initiatives for students to address the learning crisis in the country.