Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Written for The Diplomat

Several recent studies have pointed out the alarming deterioration of the quality of learning in the Philippines, but this was officially confirmed in the basic education report delivered by Vice President Sara Duterte on January 30. Duterte is concurrently serving as secretary to the Department of Education.

Addressing stakeholders with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in attendance, Duterte highlighted the key issues that plague the country’s basic education system before announcing her department’s agenda for reform.

ACT reminded officials to prove their political will in reversing the decline of Philippine education. “The call to reforming education should not be a grandstanding cry but a sincere pledge to rectify the mistakes and shortcomings of the past and the present,” it said.

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Philippines Undertakes Major Review of School Curriculum

Written for The Diplomat

Several initiatives could lead to an overhaul of the Philippine education sector under the government of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. First, legislators have already convened the Second Congressional Commission on Education (Edcom), which set a three-year timetable to evaluate the impact of the legal reforms implemented in 1991. Second, the Department of Education (DepEd) is already reviewing and revising the K to 12 curriculum, which it describes as congested. And third, the Senate is already deliberating the reimposition of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in colleges.

Indeed, the Philippines’ education crisis has worsened during the pandemic and both teachers and learners are still slowly catching up because of the extended school closure imposed by the previous administration. It will take years before the learning benefits of reforms become evident. The government must prioritize subsidies for the education sector. In the meantime, stakeholders must be actively engaged in the ongoing review of the curriculum instead of merely allowing the process to be dominated by politicians.

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