Arm education agencies with sufficient resources—PBEd

(Photo by AL PADILLA | Daily Tribune)

As the learning crisis continues to grip the nation, the advocacy group Philippine Business for Education presses Congress to prioritize the recovery of the education system in the deliberations for the 2023 budget.

“Much is at stake, and we cannot address our learning losses without sufficient resources. The government must also equip our teachers with the right skills and training and focus on student-centered programs,” PBED’s Executive Director Lovelaine Basillote said.

In the past, only 3 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product had been allotted to the education sector. While the proposed 2023 budget for primary education is higher at 4.3 percent, it still does not meet the global standard of 6 percent.

During the Department of Education’s budget briefing before the House appropriations committee yesterday, Vice President Sara Duterte said that the agency plans to “open more programs to address the learning programs of our students.”

She also stressed that the agency would invest in flexible learning and innovative solutions to cope with the classroom shortage. “All hands must be on deck to help bring the country out of this crisis. The government must act quickly and invest in quality primary education, nutrition, and life-long opportunities.”

“The private sector and organizations such as PBEd can help bridge the gaps and provide the government the needed support to improve our education system,” Basillote said.

Last year, PBEd launched a campaign calling attention to the country’s learning crisis as the Philippines finished at the bottom of international learning assessments on science, mathematics, and reading competency.

According to a recent World Bank report, the Philippines has the highest level of learning poverty in East Asia and the Pacific, which jumped from 70 percent in 2019 to 91 percent this year. This means nine out of 10 Filipino children aged 10 are still struggling to read simple texts.


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