MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippine education system has "failed" Filipino children, as he reaffirmed his administration's commitment to invest and improve the education sector.
"We have failed them. We have to admit that we have failed our children. And let us not keep failing them anymore. Otherwise, we will not allow them to become the great Filipinos that we know they can be," Marcos Jr. said after Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte presented the 2023 Basic Education Report.
In her report, Duterte bared the multiple problems hounding the country's education system and the steps she plans to make in addressing them.
"The Filipino is better than this. The children are better than this. And we cannot fail them. And that is the main motivation that we should keep in our hearts," Marcos Jr. also said as a takeaway from the report.
He also said that his administration "recognizes the issues facing our education sector," vowing to equip learners and educators with the "capacity and tools... to meet the challenges and opportunities we have in front of us."
The President vowed to ensure that the Philippine education sector meets global standards in basic education, citing his several overseas trips where the need to upskill and reskill the country's workforce was highlighted.
"We will build infrastructure that will provide our teachers, learners, and our entire academic sector with a healthy and safe environment that is conducive to learning," Marcos said.
"We will offer them multiple opportunities that meet both their personal and professional needs. We will offer them the support they need in terms of resources, programs, and policies so that they can effectively perform their roles as teachers and mentors of our children. It is my firm belief that quality teachers yield hardworking, productive, and law-abiding citizens," he added.
He also underscored the need to invest in the country's learners, by taking advantage of new technologies to provide them with convenient and more efficient ways of learning.
"Aside from advancing their academic competencies, it is also imperative that we hone them to become to productive and responsible members of our society," he said.
In her Basic Education Report, Duterte launched a "MATATAG" agenda, a roadmap the Department of Education (DepEd) designed to address multiple problems in the Philippine education system.
These problems included the lack of school infrastructure, the "cracks" in DepEd's procurement practices, the decrease of enrollment in private schools, congestion in the K-12 curricullum, employability of senior high school graduates, and lack of support for teachers, among others.
—With report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News