PASIG CITY – As 27.7 million learners troop to both public and private schools and learning spaces nationwide beginning June 5, the Department of Education (DepEd) is reinforcing its commitment to leave no learner behind and its endeavor to accelerate reforms and address challenges.
“We will reach out to all children – whoever they and their families are, wherever they may be, whatever they believe in, DepEd is employing every effort to accommodate them all,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones assured, especially in view of the situation affecting school opening in Marawi City.
Under Briones’s leadership, the agency with the biggest number of personnel is experiencing big finance management reforms to address its share of backlogs caused by natural calamities and inherited challenges. The appointment of an Undersecretary for Finance Budget and Performance Monitoring, an Undersecretary for Accounting and an Assistant Secretary for Procurement enables the Department to improve its absorptive capacity and allocate its huge budget nimbly and for effective learning delivery.
From 2014 to 2016, the Department has registered more than half the completion rate in classroom construction, with the 2014 and the 2015 backlogs close to accomplishment at 84.11% and 72.38%, respectively. Mitigation measures are also being introduced by field offices to address remaining operational concerns.
Addressing the huge demand for public school teachers for K to 12, the DepEd created more than 40,000 new teacher items for school year 2017-2018. The National Training of Trainers (NTOT) and the Mass Training of Teachers (MTOT) on Senior High School (SHS) are also in place to provide teachers with concrete understanding of the curriculum framework, learning standards and competencies, pedagogy, teaching plans and assessment.
The overall ratios as well reflect the Department’s continuous pursuit of improving the quality of basic education services. By reducing the classroom-student ratio and the teacher-student ratio in 2016, teachers are enabled to focus better on the different learning requirements of learners per class.
Communities, parents, religious organizations, civic associations, and families of teachers have given their generous support in making quality education accessible for more learners. The overwhelming response of education stakeholders to Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela is indicative of the communities’ dedication to the shared responsibility for the achievement of quality education.
As of May 23, the partial report on the result of the 2017 Brigada Eskwela yielded 3.1 million volunteer turn-out, P117.3 million in amount of man-hour services, and P911.4 million donations in-kind. The national campaign conducted two weeks before the opening of classes is just one of the DepEd’s initiatives to reduce problems that beset schools and to enable learners to start their lessons right and right away on the first day of class.
Zones of peace
Briones reminded all sectors that all schools and learning spaces are zones of peace, whether in times of harmony or strife. Despite deferment of class opening in areas affected by the recent armed conflict, education will push through as it remains to be a powerful protection of children against fear, threat, trauma, and other risks engendered by violence. The DepEd has waived the usual requirements for learners from displaced families to help facilitate faster enrollment process and is providing the necessary interventions to encourage stability and routine in the lives of these children. The safety and well-being of all learners, ethnic, political, and religious roots notwithstanding, DepEd continues to promote and protect the right of all learners to quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education.
source: Deped Website