With the Philippines still undergoing a “learning crisis,” the country will require leaders that will make education a top priority, according to Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). The advocacy group convened on Monday the Education Nation coalition as a call for 2022 election candidates to champion education reform.  

“Just like back in 2009, when this project was first initiated, we are challenging candidates to adopt our 10-point reform agenda and be the leaders we need,” said Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr., PBEd chairman, at the project’s virtual launch.   

The coalition’s first three points in its 10-point agenda include electing an education-minded president and government leaders, providing adequate resources to the education sector, and strengthening community capacity for student learning.  

In September, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that funds remain insufficient despite a higher proposed budget due to computerization efforts meant to aid teachers in distance learning. Only 25.58 million students enrolled for school year 2021–2022, a 2.5% dip from 26.22 million students the previous year, according to their data.  

PBEd also previously raised the alarm on the Philippine education crisis in July.  

“To be fair, there are programs that DepEd, CHED [Commission on Higher Education], and TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority] are currently implementing to address some of the 10-point agenda, and they’re responding,” said Lovelaine B. Basillote, PBEd executive director. “We just want to make sure that the next administration builds on existing efforts and continues to prioritize education.”  

Education Nation plans to host a public forum or debate for candidates to discuss education reforms in their platforms. — Brontë H. Lacsamana 

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