Oliver Bugarin 4 0 0 7 min to read

VP DepEd is looking for methods to improve and correct education quality.

Sara Duterte, vice president and secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), promised the Senate on Friday that she would keep looking for ways to improve the standard of elementary education.

In a hearing held by the Committee on Basic Education, Duterte claimed that DepEd is prepared for the school year 2022–2023 and is dealing with persistent problems such as the lack of classrooms and teachers and the harm caused by calamities.

Since I took office on July 1 of this year, my execom (executive committee) has been working diligently to ensure a smooth start to the in-person classes in August 2022. In the next six years, I believe we will be able to improve the standard of basic education in our nation with the cooperation of the Senate, she stated through videoconference.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the chair of the committee, promised that the 19th Congress would give priority to passing legislation aimed at enhancing the fundamental skills of Filipino students and reviving their academic performance, including a review of the K–12 curriculum.

As we begin a fresh battle for the best possible education for the younger generation, Gatchalian remarked, “I hope I can count on your support.”

Teachers, school administrators, superintendents of school divisions, and regional directors, according to Duterte, “are making their utmost efforts to allow our learners to return securely in schools.”

She stated that the introduction of blended learning would take place as part of the changeover to in-person classes.

We are still researching the use of blended learning as a standard style of instruction for elementary schools. On November 2, however, public and private schools are scheduled to fully implement the five days of in-person instruction.

Preparations

The Vice President herself wrote Department Order 34, which establishes the standards for the school year 2022–2023, according to Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, the DepEd Chief of Staff.

She was the one who brought up the need, to begin with, face-to-face lessons because the kids had already experienced a significant amount of measured learning loss over the previous two years, according to Densing. “The World Bank and local academics have conducted numerous studies that support this. Resuming face-to-face instruction is essential, and this is the Department Order’s main requirement.”

He claimed that from August 22 to October 31, both private and public schools are permitted to use blended learning so they can get used to the change.

Additionally, assuring the Senate committee that processes are in place for the health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and other school staff members is DepEd Undersecretary for Field Operations, Revsee Escobedo.

In the event that there is an increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in a particular class or school, he noted, there will be a switch to blended learning.

DepEd was urged to work on its information and public relations campaigns by Senator Pia Cayetano.

We don’t want any parents to become anxious, but tragically, a lot of parents rely on information found on Facebook and TikTok. I’m hoping DepEd is thinking of innovative ways to not only balance this out but also get rid of the reliance on that kind of information, the woman stated.

For parents who are still worried about sending their kids to school, Densing said the DepEd website has answers to frequently asked questions and steps for a secure school opening.

Funding

Specifically for initiatives aimed at Indigenous Peoples (IP), Senator Robinhood Padilla stated he would work on increasing the DepEd budget. He asked the department’s Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla to submit their programs, strategies, and funding requests.

“Ang kaalaman ng ating mga kababayan lalo na ang tungkol sa mga IP, mahalaga na mapalawak natin,” said the speaker. Budget na dagdagan po ako titiyakin. It’s crucial for our citizens to learn more about our intellectual property, in other words. Ganoon din po sa iba. As with other initiatives, I will see to it that your funding is increased,” Padilla added.

During the previous government, the General Appropriations Act for 2022 approved the greatest increase for the education sector.

The Commission on Higher Education, state universities and colleges, and the DepEd each received PHP788.5 billion, which is PHP36.8 billion more than the budget from the previous year.

Padilla also requested that DepEd continue the anti-corruption committee’s work, which Densing promised would be enlarged.

Due to her positive Covid-19 test, Senator Nancy Binay was unable to physically attend the meeting, but she expressed confidence in Duterte’s ability to significantly improve the educational system.

The Vice President of the Philippines being aware of our educational issues, in my opinion, is a huge assistance in gradually providing remedies, according to Binay.


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