DepEd to continue pushing for more programs for Filipino learners

By Wilnard Bacelonia

January 25, 2024, 9:00 pm

<p>Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte <em>(File photo) </em></p>

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte (File photo) 

MANILA – Vice President and Education Secretary vowed on Thursday that the Department of Education (DepEd) will continue to work on making the basic education curriculum produce more competent, job-ready, active, and responsible citizens of the country.

Duterte, during her Basic Education Report (BER) 2024, said the agency is now preparing for the nationwide phased implementation of the MATATAG K-10 Curriculum, the rollout of the National Math Program and the National Science and Technology Program, and the institutionalization of their comprehensive Peace Education Program which are the result of thorough review and utilization of the results of both national and international assessments.

MATATAG stands for MAke the curriculum relevant to produce competent and job-ready, active, and responsible citizens; TAke steps to accelerate delivery of basic education facilities and services; TAke good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education, and a positive learning environment; and Give support to teachers to teach better.

"We will push forward. We will not be deterred until we bend the curve until we fulfill the dream of every Filipino child," she assured.

Duterte mentioned in her BER 2024 collaborations with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to pursue Project for Learning Upgrade Support and Advancing Climate-smart, Quality, Inclusive and Resilient Education.

As a response to the national policy of agriculture as one of the backbones of wealth creation, she said DepEd will integrate entrepreneurship and agribusiness education to the basic education curriculum and launch the Pampaaralang Taniman ng mga Agribida Program through its partnership with Go Negosyo.

The DepEd Digital Education 2028 was also presented by Duterte which she said would be the agency's flagship program in pursuing full digitization and interconnectivity of all DepEd offices and schools.

"We have initiated talks with Converge, PLDT, Globe, Starlink, and other internet providers with the aim of providing adequate internet access to both teachers and learners in our schools," the Vice President said.

"Alongside traditional textbooks, we will also provide e-Textbooks. To leverage digital technology, we have started consultations with various publishers to facilitate the provision of electronic textbooks. In the procurement of textbooks for the MATATAG K-10 Curriculum, we will require the winning bidder to provide us with electronic copies that learners may access anytime, anywhere," she added.

Duterte also announced that the MATATAG Portal will be launched this year to establish a one-stop online/offline platform open to teachers, learners and parents.

"The Portal will house all digital learning resources and applications to make both learning and teaching materials easily accessible even in times of calamities. The portal also seeks to connect multiple DepEd systems in order to provide real-time education statistics and information to our stakeholders," she said.

Last year, 25 schools were chosen to be part of the proof-of-concept being conducted by Starlink.

A total of 305 schools have also been given Fiber internet, while internet satellites have also been delivered to 2,000 public schools

To date, DepEd has procured 4,067 e-learning cart packages, 337 smart TV packages, 2,366 teaching packages, and 3,161 non-teaching packages.

"In total, we will be distributing PHP8.2 billion worth of laptops, smart TVs, external hard drives, wireless routers, and charging carts to 2,455 school districts," Duterte announced.

She said a total of 24 Last Mile Schools (LMS) were also completed last year and was able to deliver 63 LMS.

The DepEd was also able to construct 3,637 new classrooms while 6,203 classrooms are still being constructed, and 811 are already under procurement.

"By the end of the first semester of 2024, we hope to complete the construction of at least 4,000 classrooms," Duterte said.

"DepEd is committed to working with the Department of Public Works and Highways to improve proper coordination and the special allotment release order request process so the we can build more and build faster," she added.

The agency was able to repair 4,542 classrooms, 3,428 are currently being repaired, and 5,896 more are to be repaired soon.

With the establishment of the Procurement strand, DepEd was also able to award 288 projects in the amount of PHP11.701 billion and received an unqualified opinion from COA for Financial Year 2022.

"We shall continue to uphold this good practice to sustain a transparent, accountable, and effective Department of Education," Duterte said.

On the reversion of the School Calendar, the Vice President said they are still waiting for the results of the consultations being conducted with various teacher organizations, parent-teacher associations, student leaders, and other relevant groups in different parts of the country.

This came after various organizations have been calling for the DepEd to revert to the original June-March academic calendar. (PNA)