CABINET MEETING. President Rodrigo R. Duterte presides over the 43rd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 6, 2019. During the meeting, Duterte approved the Department of Education's recommendations aimed at pushing reforms in the education sector. (Presidential Photo) 

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the Department of Education’s (DepEd) recommendations aimed at pushing reforms in the education sector, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President gave his nod during his 43rd meeting with his Cabinet at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Wednesday night.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, at the Cabinet meeting, noted that her agency already provided free education to 27.2 million learners, but emphasized the need to further improve the quality of education in the country, Panelo said.

“Moving forward, quality basic education is imperative. Thus, the President approved DepEd’s recommendation[s]” the Palace official said in the statement.

Panelo said the DepEd’s proposals approved by Duterte include improvement of curriculum for students who want to pursue education, creation of more plantilla positions for teachers, crafting of a communication plan on quality education, and harnessing the use of technology.

He said the recommendations were meant to “educate more students, educators and leaders.”

The DepEd is currently reviewing the effectiveness of K to 12 basic education program amid stakeholders’ concerns that the curriculum supposedly failed to allow students to gain skills for employment after senior high school.

The K to 12 program, implemented during the Aquino government in 2012, overhauled the basic education curriculum in the country by adding two years of senior high school.

Grade 11 and 12 students are given the option to choose among four tracks -- academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports and arts.

The review will enable the DepEd to identify the achievements and challenges since the basic education reform program’s implementation.

The agency has also proposed the addition of four new teaching positions to provide for an improved professional growth and opportunities to public school teachers.

The DepEd specifically sought the creation of new ranks, which include Teacher IV, Teacher V, Teacher VI, and Teacher VII with corresponding higher salary grades after the current items of Teacher I, Teacher II and Teacher III. (PNA)