As he continues to receive criticism over the state of education in the Philippines following a World Bank report highlighting poor learning outcomes for Filipino students, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, assured that reform initiatives were undertaken by the Ministry of Education (DepEd).
“I assure our parents and our learners that we are meeting the challenge of quality in basic education,” Briones said in a statement released on July 5. “I identified this as our biggest reform challenge as soon as I took the post of secretary,” she said. added.
DepEd was in the spotlight again after a report released by the World Bank indicated that more than 80% of Filipino learners “don’t know what they should know”. This, DepEd said, may not be the case since the World Bank used “old data” in its report.
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“Our initiatives to reform the curriculum, the learning environment and the professional development of teachers are all underway,” said Briones.
With the help of a consortium of partners, Briones said DepEd is also preparing a “comprehensive professional development program on evaluation” focused on emerging literacies measured internationally.
DepEd, she added, is also preparing the Basic Education Development Plan for 2022-2030. “Our partners in education reform know this,” said Briones.
As a lender for major reform programs, Briones said the World Bank is a partner of DepEd.
These programs include the $ 100 million Program for the Development of Decentralized Education (PRODED) from 1981 to 1986, the Basic Education Project of $ 113 million (TEEDP) from 1997 to 2006, the National Support for Basic Education (NPSBE) of $ 200 million from 2006 to 2011, and more recently, the program to support the Equity and Responsibility in Learning Program (LEAPS) of $ 300 million of dollars from 2014 to 2018.
Briones noted that the World Bank itself acknowledged in its report that “the recent participation of the Philippines in three large-scale transnational evaluations presents an excellent opportunity to understand the state of basic education and to guide the process. countries in pursuing the essential reforms needed to improve the education system. “
Joining international assessments, said Briones, is “essential to understanding what we need to deal with” and the World Bank itself has recognized that.
“The results of these assessments are available for anyone to study and analyze,” said Briones. “But for those who present themselves as true partners of DepEd in educational reform, we hope that such studies are correct,” she added.
The World Bank report focused on the poor performance of Filipino children in three international assessments which DepEd joined in 2018 and 2019.
Since then, Briones said DepEd has initiated reforms that are strongly supported and funded by government, local partners, partner countries and multilaterals.
A loan agreement for a major program to improve the skills of teachers (Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project or TEACEP) is being negotiated with the World Bank itself. “These developments are not mentioned in the report at all,” Briones noted.
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