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Sara Duterte says PH education must be 'relevant, inclusive'

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Tuesday said that the administration is on the right track in its goal to deliver an education that is relevant and inclusive.

“Education is the driving force behind a country’s growth and development, and with more than 30 million young people, the largest in our country’s history, we are poised to benefit from this demographic dividend,” Duterte said in her speech during the International Day of Education (IDE) celebration at the DepEd Central Office.

With this year’s theme: “To invest in people, prioritize education,” the Vice president noted that the new administration is on the right track.

“At the UN Transforming Education Summit in September last year, President Marcos announced our commitment to recover the learning losses from the pandemic and rebuild our education to be more inclusive, relevant, and resilient to future shocks and disruptions,” she said.

She also mentioned that the education sector had received an increased budget for 2023 to actively support more learning programs and boost the capacities of the teaching force.

“From P631 billion in 2022, we now have a budget of P719 billion for 2023, making the education sector’s percentage share of the total government appropriations within the recommended 15–20%,” she said.

Duterte also shared the initiatives implemented to make educational facilities safe for children, such as the Learner Rights and Protection Office with a website and hotline: "Learners Telesafe Contact Center Helpline."

“As of December last year, our hotline has received 78 complaints,” she said.

Meanwhile, the second batch of the Child Protection Specialization Course for focal persons in the Central Offices, Regional Offices, and Schools Division Offices is ongoing as the Child Protection Specialists will empower Child Protection Committees in schools to protect the learners from abuse and support their overall well-being.

“Let us work together to ensure that our education system empowers our young people to navigate lives and challenges with 21st-century skills, resilience, leadership, and strength of character as they join us in reshaping and rebuilding a better and stronger Philippines,” she added.

The activity is primarily envisioned to generate visibility from local to global on prioritizing education to reach the SDGs ahead of the SDG Summit, building on the outcomes of the United Nation’s Transforming Education Summit.

Education stakeholders, students, teachers, school administrators, and partners from local and international institutions also participated in the IDE celebration.—Sherylin Untalan/LDF, GMA Integrated News