THE Education Department is keen on driving the state of Philippine education to a higher level, despite current challenges weighing down on basic learning delivery.

On Wednesday the Department of Education (DepEd) disclosed that prior to the pandemic, it had already instituted various interventions addressing the said issues. 

Although not categorically stating that its latest statement was in response to a recent World Bank (WB) study, DepEd pointed out that when public-health emergency struck, it had already introduced the “Bawat Bata, Bumabasa [3Bs]” initiative nationwide, with field offices aggressively rolling out contextualized approaches to increase learners’ reading proficiencies.

DepEd explained that, “In addition to 3Bs, our ‘Every Child a Reader Program’ also integrates strengthened initiatives on ‘Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy’, ‘Mother Tongue-Based of Multilingual Education,’ and ‘Pedagogical Retooling in Mathematics, Languages, and Science .”

The department pointed out that, amid the public-health crisis, it has pushed to put in place reforms in curricula, the learning environment, and teacher-professional development through its “Sulong EduKalidad” campaign. 

“We are also preparing for our participation in…upcoming international assessments to closely evaluate our efforts,” it added.

Learning poverty

ON Monday Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon expressed his alarm over the World Bank report: “Remote Learning During Covid-19: Lessons for Today,” which stated that majority of Filipino children aged 10 and below cannot read.

Drilon expressed his disappointment during deliberations of the proposed 2022 budget of DepEd that the situation “affects the ability of our future generation to be useful citizens of our society. When nine out of 10 children do not know how to read at 10, that should worry our education sector… administration…should give more funds to education, because we are already in Southeast Asia.” 

The senator cited that while Hong Kong only has a 3.2-percent learning poverty, the Philippines is ranked along with Ethiopia, Madagascar, Yemen, Afghanistan, which are among the lowest-rated in remote learning worldwide. Locally, only 20 percent of households with schoolchildren are able to carry out schooling conducted at home, as stated in the abovementioned report. 

The World Bank calculated that the Philippines’s learning poverty had worsened to as high as 90 percent by August.

Quest for quality

“THE issue of learning poverty has been a dilemma of the country for years,” the department admitted, “and proactively dealing with it for the long term.”

“With the objectives of ‘Sulong EduKalidad…’ and the Basic Education Development Plan 2030 set to materialize in the coming years, we are leaving behind a worthy mission to continue for the next DepEd administration.”

It concluded: “We have come a long way in our quest for quality education, but we are not yet done with our journey. Our efforts must be consistent, cohesive, and collaborative for us to achieve… quality education to every Filipino child.”

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