Published by Philippines Graphic Magazine

December 23, 2016

Briones in Peru for education ministers meeting
“Being a teacher in itself is already a tremendous job. Teaching with unwavering commitment despite the odds is a true service to the country,” Briones said.
Signifying the Philippines’ cooperation in the global thrust to elevate the population’s education and participation in economic development, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones heads the Philippine delegation to the 6th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Lima, Peru.

Every four years, Education Ministers of the APEC Member Economies gather to discuss education priorities for APEC projects according to the needs and priorities at the time of the meeting. This year, AEMM focuses on cross-border education, Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), global citizenship, capacity building, 21st century competencies, educational innovation, work-integrated learning, and public-private partnership (PPP), among others.

This is significant for the DepEd because STEM is a major component of the K to 12 program.

Joining Briones to bring forth the Philippines’ basic education agenda on the international platform are Assistant Secretaries Nepomuceno Malaluan and G.H. Ambat and directors Margarita Ballesteros and Roger Masapol.
This year’s convergence of international education officials and stakeholders is expected to lay the groundwork for better future education in the APEC regions through creative teaching methods and global skills development. Moreover, the role of education will be discussed as a major factor in reducing employment mismatch through new policies and methods to ensure inclusive and quality education. The Education chief will share the Philippine experience in modernizing education system at the meeting.

Since the foundation of APEC as a forum, education and training have been recognized as essential areas for regional partnerships. Greater cooperation in education will help APEC economies lift the participation of their populations in education and lifelong learning, better match the outcomes from education with their workforce, as well as social and economic development needs, and promote the prosperity of APEC citizens through the promotion of individual pathways of educational processes. This will increase economic engagement across the region, lifting trade and investment leading to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and social cohesion and wellbeing.

The week before the Education Secretary left for Peru, she expressed her gratitude for the public school teachers’ “unwavering commitment to serve and strengthen communities.”

She also highlighted the special role public school teachers play in “enhancing the learning capabilities of students” and “protecting the welfare of learners.”

“Being a teacher in itself is already a tremendous job. Teaching with unwavering commitment despite the odds is a true service to the country,” Briones said.

The Education Secretary’s statement coincided with the DepEd’s celebration of National Teachers’ Month (NTM).

The NTM celebration for this year carried the theme of Guro: Kabalikat sa Pagbabago, to acknowledge and emphasize the crucial role and value of teachers in the Philippine society. Aside from being a time to pay tribute to educators, the National Teachers’ Month was also an occasion to build the image of teaching as an attractive and fulfilling profession, and to generate widespread support and assistance for teachers.
The DepEd celebrated National Teachers’ Month with two simultaneous events last September 30.

These events took place at the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City and the at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City, hosted by the DepEd Region XI and DepEd National Capital Region (NCR), respectively.

DepEd sees private sector as crucial partner

The Department of Education (DepEd) seeks to forge stronger partnership with private institutions and better support for the Department’s teaching personnel as it lobbies for P567.56-billion budget in 2017.
Alongside the provision of additional basic resources to support the needs of K to 12 curriculum, the enriching of curricular reforms, and the expansion of the Alternative Learning System (ALS), DepEd also eyes the enhancement of complementarity of private and public schools and the strengthening of capacity of teachers, education leaders, and personnel through significant allocations in the proposed budget.
“Constitutional mandate is that we [Education] should have the highest budget allocation . . . Those in the educational sector should [be able to] comply with international standards,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated during the budget briefing at the House of Representatives.
One major item in the 2017 budget goes to the expansion of complementarity of private and public school institutions. This enables the Department to work closely with the private sector as a key player in providing education services in the country, especially with the full implementation of K to 12.
Under the proposed budget, P9 billion is allotted to Education Service Contracting which will have one million grantees; P24 billion is assigned to Voucher Program for Private Senior High Schools with 1.4 million grantees; P1.3 billion is allocated to Voucher Program for Non-DepEd Public Senior High Schools which will benefit 138,462 grantees; and P2.5 billion is apportioned to Joint Delivery Voucher for Senior High School Technical Vocational and Livelihood Specializations with 75,000 grantees.
Meanwhile, the 2017 budget presentation also highlighted measures to improve the capacity of teachers, education leaders, and DepEd personnel. The Department aims to achieve this through: building the Schools Division Offices’ (SDOs) capacities in managing and hosting training programs and other similar activities; training teachers and ALS facilitators to further improve the curriculum; and rolling out the DepEd Financial Management Operations Manual and training all finance personnel to develop a Financial Management Information System (FIMS). Through the FIMS, the Department will be able to track the status of its budget releases and disbursements, down to the level of schools principals, in real time.
The Department deems these moves essential in realizing more education reforms. With the 2017 proposed budget, DepEd aims to ensure that every Filipino has better access to a complete quality basic education, and every graduate is prepared for further education and economic opportunities.