MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) feels "validated" after the praises they got from President Rodrigo Duterte during his 4th State of the Nation Address yesterday.
“This affirms, ang binabanggit ng Department of Education, that we have made a lot of headway dun sa access to basic education," DepEd spokesman Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said Tuesday in a statement.
“This is a morale boost for our secretary and we thank the President.. this is not just for the DepEd, but most of all sa halos isang milyong empleyado ng DepEd," DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla added.
Duterte praised the education department during his SONA, saying more than 20 million students are learning and studying because of DepEd.
"Through the exceptional leadership of [Education] Secretary Briones and the DepEd, I am proud to say that this year more Filipino learners are receiving basic education, with over 27 million enrollees from Kinder to Senior High School," Duterte said.
For the remaining years of Duterte’s term, DepEd said it will shift its focus from basic education access to education quality.
“Itong 27.2 million na mga estudyante, 'di lang dapat binibilang natin, kung hindi siguraduhin na natututo ang ating K12 curriculum ngayon at magagamit nila ang kanilang natututunan," said Sevilla.
NATIONAL SPORTS ACADEMY - A WELCOME CONCEPT
The proposal to build a National Sports Academy is a “welcome concept” for DepEd, especially since only a fraction of students in Senior High School take the sports track.
“Kailangan din nating iintroduce at bigyan ng magandang career ang isang bata na mahilig at may talent sa sports," Sevilla said.
(We need to introduce and give good students a chance to have a career in sports.)
Sevilla said around 60 percent of students take the academic track since they plan to pursue a college education, 38 percent take the technical vocation track, and the rest take the sports track.
"If we want this to happen and be implemented within this term, kailangan may maipasok tayo for the 2020 budget (they need to set a budget)," she said.
The National Sports Academy will not only focus on honing students’ athletic capabilities but will offer degrees related to sports.
Duterte, in his SONA yesterday, said he is in favor of such an academy for high school students.
“Itong sports track 'di lang sa pagiging athletes. Meron din ditong physical education, certification, physical fitness, coaching.. isa pang maitutulong ito.. posibleng tumawid di lang secondary education but.. leading to a bachelor's degree," Malaluan said.
DepEd believes it did its part in enlightening their critics with the salary increase issue.
“Hindi DepEd ang magde-decide kung may increase, kung magkano mag increase at sino ang i-increasan. It's not the mandate of DepEd to do that,” said Sevilla.
“Ang di palang definite ngayon ay kung magkano and for how many years will this be given," Malaluan added.
Several senators have filed bills seeking to raise the salaries of public school teachers, following the pay hike of policemen last year.
During his presidential campaign in 2016, Duterte promised to double the salary of public school teachers.
Teachers have been clamoring for a significant increase in their salary following pay hikes for police officers, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel in 2018. - Jasmine Romero, ABS-CBN News