The Department of Education (DepEd) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented the results of the 2013-2014 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report Tuesday.
“We are talking about education not just as Filipinos but as global citizens as well,” Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said, adding that education for all shouldn’t be an issue of competition. Luistro also highlighted DepEd’s goal that “no Filipino youth shall be left behind in basic education.”
Ed dela Torre, co-chair of EFA committee, said that while milestones were important in education, it was also crucial to “sustain the momentum” in reaching the EFA goals.
Based on the global monitoring report, DepED has strengthened the universal coverage of out-of-school youth (OSY) through Alternative Learning System (ALS) and Abot-Alam Program.
“Adopt-a-school program was able to generate 6B pesos in private contributions in 2012 alone and five billion in 2013,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said.
While the Philippines has challenges in terms of male participation compared to female participation, there has been an increase in the former’s participation rate in the recent years due to technical educational pathways.
Mateo explained that since the legislation of the Kindergarten Act in 2011, there has been an “increase of 97% in participation rate of Grades 1 to 3.” He added that universalizing kindergarten education as part of basic education prepared the learners for formal education.
As of 2011, the Department was at 72.1% for elementary education and 75.1% for secondary education in terms of completion of the full basic education cycle with satisfactory annual achievement levels. The EFA target on education quality is at 75% mastery – as of 2011, the total elementary National Achievement Test mean percentile score (NAT MPS) was 68.2% and 47.9% for secondary.
Mateo said that the Department is looking forward to the “2016 horizon” where it would expand GASTPE, develop IT systems, and continuously address the special needs of learners with programs such as Special Education (SPED), Indigenous Peoples education (IPed), and address OSY.
“The Department is looking forward to alternative delivery modes (ADM), learning resource portals, and learner reference number to continually be developed,” Mateo added.
Dr. Mee Young Choi of UNESCO Jakarta office said that “human resources were as essential part of national growth” coupled with infrastructure and strong partnership with civiil society.
“Teachers are a key driving force for making sure human resources are developed through education as was the case in Korea,” Choi said. The recent report stated that “an education system is only as good as its teachers.”
To address the teacher needs, DepEd has created more than 61,000 teacher items in 2013, and has opened more than 30,000 items to be filled this year. The Department has also provided continuous K to 12 trainings for teachers and school administrators.