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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

President Marcos calls for overhaul of education system

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President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Friday called for sweeping reforms to the country’s education system amid the lackluster performance of Filipino students in the 12 years since the K-12 program was implemented.

The chief executive called for solutions to teaching gaps ahead of Senator Sonny Angara’s stepping in as head of the Department of Education (DepEd) when Vice President Sara Duterte vacates the position on July 19.

President Marcos emphasized the need to enhance graduates’ employability under the K-12 system, which he said has fallen short of expectations.

“If you remember, we implemented K-12 because employers were looking for more years of training from our job applicants and here in the Philippines, it was lacking because it was only 10 years (primary plus secondary education), so we needed 12 years,” he said.

“Okay. So, that was the reason we did it to make our graduates more employable,” he added.

Proposed measures include short-term courses aligned with industry needs and closer coordination with the private sector for job placements.

Addressing academic performance, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, the President stressed the importance of equipping students with technical skills to meet evolving job market demands.

“The other thing we’re focusing on is the scores in the international standardized tests, particularly in STEM subjects where we’re lagging behind and that’s the area that’s in high demand at the moment,” he pointed out.

President Marcos also noted that ensuring teacher welfare and professional development remains pivotal to enhancing their performance.

“I reminded Senator Angara that the key to any successful program in the DepEd are the teachers,” he said.

“They have families to take care of. They can’t teach properly if they’re worried about their family’s situation. So we need to make sure they’re in a good place so they can focus on teaching,” Marcos added.

In addition to the introduction of more short training courses and reforms in faculty benefits, the chief executive announced plans to simplify the curriculum to ensure students grasp the basics.

“Many students in Grade 5 and Grade 6 struggle with reading and basic mathematics. We need to go back to basics,” he explained.

President Marcos also called for more lessons on Philippine history in the curriculum.

“For me, that is so important, for the simple reason that that is what will make a child understand what it means to be a Filipino,” he said.

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