MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) reiterated on Friday its call for the realignment of the disapproved confidential fund with its National Learning Recovery Program (NLRP), saying such move will be “very useful” for learners.
In an interview at the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing on Friday, DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Cesar Bringas noted that during a recent hearing, senators seemed "very serious" on providing additional fund for the agency's Government Assistance for Private Education (GASTPE) program, prompting Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte to request instead for the realignment of the funds amounting to PHP150 million.
"Kaya ang hiling ng ating Secretary during that particular hearing ay iyong iri-realign na confidential funds ay ilalagay sa ating National Learning Recovery Program ng Department dahil doon magkakaroon ng mas maganda or mas malakas na impact sa ating mga learners dahil nga tayo ay nagri-recover pa (That's why the request of our Secretary during that particular hearing is to realign the confidential funds with the Department’s NLRP because it will bring more impact to our learners considering that we are still recovering) from our learning loss not only during the pandemic but even the losses prior to the pandemic," Bringas said.
During the Senate plenary debates, Duterte assured that even without the confidential fund, DepEd will try its best to eliminate threats to the learning environment and work for the safety and security of its personnel.
The threats, which need surveillance and intelligence gathering, may include sexual abuse and all other forms of violence; graft and corruption; involvement in illegal drugs of learners and personnel; recruitment for insurgency, terrorism, and violent extremism; child labor; child pornography; and recruitment for criminal activities, gangsterism, and financial and other scams, according to DepEd.
In the same hearing, Senator Ronald dela Rosa made a manifestation urging teachers to be more vigilant on the possible recruitment of insurgents from among the basic education learners.
Meanwhile, Bringas reassured that DepEd will continue to improve the basic education's literacy levels, including the implementation of programs focusing on the well-being of learners to protect them against external threats that would be detrimental to their development, not only as students, but as citizens of the country.
"Mayroon pa rin tayong mga programa (We still have programs), internal programs in the Department. Kaya nga dito sa ating curriculum nga mayroon tayong na-invent diyan na peace education part of our curriculum para mapahusay pa rin natin iyong pagpapahalaga ng mga bata sa kapayapaan at lalung-lalo na iyong pagiging (That's why in our curriculum, we have included peace education to develop the appreciation of our learners for peace and especially on being) patriotic and nationalistic," he said. (PNA)