VP Sara lauds PNU for great contributions to basic education

VP Sara lauds PNU for great contributions to basic education

By Rjhay E. Laurea

PASAY CITY, Manila — The Philippine Normal University was commended by Vice President Sara Duterte on Friday (November 18) for the institution’s great contributions to the country’s basic education system.

Invited as a guest speaker at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) and Commission on Higher Education International Education (CHED) Conference at the Rizal Park Hotel, Duterte highlighted the two educational institutions taking on developing our basic education.

“Through your partnership with the Commission on Higher Education, you helped the Department of Education (DepEd) develop the Senior High School curriculum — producing teaching guides for core, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM and Accountancy, Business and Management, or ABM subjects,” Duterte said referring to PNU.

She said that upon accepting the offer of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to become Secretary of Education, she knew the enormity of the challenges awaiting her.

The Vice President also shared her experiences as head of the Local School Board when she was still mayor of Davao City.

“I was not blind to the never-ending list of problems of our learners, schools, our teachers, and our principals. As the local chief executive and head of the Local School Board, I knew the urgency of resolving the problems,” Duterte said.

“Having an available budget or the lack of it is an essential factor in the failure or success of our efforts to address the problem of learning loss or sustain our gains or carry out reforms at DepEd,” she added.

Duterte reiterated that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank published a report calling attention to the alarming learning poverty in the Philippines.

Also in 2019, the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics revealed an alarming report on the difficulty of Filipino children in reading and math where the Philippines ranked last in reading and math among 79 countries, according to the 2018 results for the secondary level from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

“As education leaders, I know everyone here braced themselves for the impact, and maybe uttered a prayer or two, for the sake of our learners,” Duterte said.

Duterte also briefly discussed the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030, a project launched by former Education Secretary Leonor Briones, with technical assistance from UNICEF and the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). The BEDP 2030 is “anchored on the four pillars of access, equity, quality, and resiliency enabled by modern, efficient, nimble governance and management processes.”

The Vice President admitted that there is still much room for improvement, specifically in helping teachers sharpen their skills in contextualization to address the concerns of diverse learners and in strengthening instructional leadership and supervision to improve teaching quality with system-wide capacity development.

She then commended the PNU for the compendious work on their approach to providing accessible and quality training for teachers through their Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) program.

“Through the research and technical work provided by PNU’s RCTQ to our legislators, we now have a national law that unifies approaches to enhancing teachers’ knowledge, skills, and practices across the country from the pre-service to the in-service stage,” Duterte said.

In April 2022, President Rodrigo Duterte also signed RA 11713, or the Excellence in Teacher Education Act which ensures that the teachers received at DepEd from various teacher education institutions have been educated using standards-based teacher education programs.

The younger Duterte reiterated the commitment of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to help the DepEd recover and rebuild our education sector.

“This is our time to unite and collaborate to ensure that our future workforce will be skilled, equipped, and productive,” the vice president said.

“I look forward to reading the recovery roadmap you will produce after this conference and I am excited to work with you in the next six years as we usher in meaningful basic education reforms,” she added. (ai/mtvn)

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