The Department of Education (DepEd) gladly notes that its attainment of most of the Philippine Education for All (EFA) indicators has been improving. DepEd shares the credit of this modest achievement with the EFA Grand Alliance as it recognizes that the provision of education to every Filipino is a shared responsibility of all. In particular, DepEd would like to acknowledge the contribution and collaborative efforts of the 23-member National EFA Committee (NEC) that took part in policy formulation at the national level, with the objective of closing the remaining EFA gaps. The local government units with its Local School Boards, the academe through its literacy extension services, and the private entities through the Adopt-A-School Program have been working hand-in-hand with DepEd as it strives to achieve its EFA targets. It is likewise worthy to note that the national government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, which requires school attendance as one of the conditions for beneficiaries, has added leverage towards an improved participation rate.
While there is something to laud about the myriad of successes of the Grand Alliance from classroom teachers to local EFA allies and to partners in the private sector, the remaining gaps between current achievements against EFA targets and the Millennium Development Goals of universal primary education keep us motivated to double our efforts to provide quality basic education to all Filipino children.
In pursuit of quality education that will foster Filipino graduates into becoming productive citizens, the Department is implementing the K to 12 reforms. Along with these reforms are child-centered policies such as mother tongue-based multilingual education, child protection, and IP/Muslim education that manifest DepEd’s commitment towards inclusive rights-based education.
The Department is likewise banking on the use of technology in education to improve access to and quality of education. This includes education technologies used to expand the reach of flexible learning options and alternative learning systems, computerization and connectivity programs, and availability of learning resources online.
While various circumstances such as the onslaught of devastating disasters, extreme poverty, and geographical inaccessibility pose a great challenge for EFA, the Department never wavers in its resilience to ensure the delivery of quality basic education to every Filipino learner.