Philippine’s Actions On Education For All
There’s so much we can learn from our life journeys. Having chosen a career as a teacher, it has opened my eyes more and make me more aware on the essentials of having a good education. Growing up in a poor family, the thing that I only wanted to do was to finish my education. I was raised with the belief that “Education is the only legacy” that my parents could give me. So I have to do my best to attain the highest form of it.
Unfortunately, not all people around the globe can acquire a good education because of variety of factors and one of the leading factor is poverty. Based on observation, if a person is living in poverty, his primary aim for everyday living is to just to survive and not about literacy. In addition to that, a country with people who do not have any education at all, will forever be a country in struggle. For that reason, an international initiative entitled “Education For All” (EFA) was launched in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand to give an opportunity for every citizen to attain literacy.
After a decade of its implementation, many countries were found still struggling to reach the goal on education. With that, the international community convened again in 2000 in Dakar, Senegal for the World Education Forum. They confirmed of completely attaining the EFA Goals by the year 2015 and identified six key measurable education goals, which are as follows:
- Early childhood care and education
- Universal primary education
- Youth and adult learning
- Gender Parity and Equality
- Quality of Education
The Department of Education in the Philippines is among the countries, which has been trying to keep abreast with the EFA goals. To support this, the Philippines came up with the Philippine EFA 2015 National Action Plan. The Department of Education also formulated the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). With the combination of Philippine EFA 2015 National Action Plan and BESRA, the government was confident enough in meeting the goals of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Philippine’s Strategies Toward Education for All (EFA) Goals
From 10 years Basic Education Program, it was changed to 12 years. The reason for doing so was that the Philippines had a need to be a globally competitive country. Making Kindergarten as compulsory for all children aged five years plus the two years added in high school, the government was confident enough that the Filipino learners will be equipped more with the knowledge and skills they need to find a good job.
- Madrasah or Islamic Education of the Philippines
Madrasah is an Arabic word which means “school” in English. It is privately operated using Arabic language as the medium of instruction. Philippines has around 5.6% Muslim populations and by institutionalizing Madrasah (plural for Madrasah) education, this will give opportunities to all Muslim youth to attain literacy and quality education.
- Indigenous Peoples Education
This was to strengthen the inclusive state in education of people who did not have an immediate access to basic education. This will be done by integrating the cultural heritage of the indigenous people curriculum by protecting and preserving the culture and identity of the indigenous tribes. Through the Indigenous People Educational Policy Framework anchored on DepEd Order No. 62 s. 2011, it is believed that all peoples would be given equal right to education.
- Special Education (SPED)
Both gifted students and students with special needs were also given the right to education. No matter whether they were visually impaired, deaf, mute, etc., they are all given a chance to learn from teachers who were trained well to teach in special cases. There was no discrimination at all for whatever the regular students could learn, the gifted and those with special needs could also do. This was anchored on Deped Order No. 26 s. 1997.
- Alternative Delivery Modalities (ADM)
Based on researches, different schools have been experiencing problems with student truancy. Common reasons for their absenteeism were related with financial and personal struggles like being disinterested to attend schooling. To provide solutions for these matters, the Department of Education institutionalized the different Alternative Delivery Modalities ( ADM.) The following were the different descriptions of ADM:
a. Modified-In-School/Off-School Approach (MISOSA)
This is a program launched by the Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE) and was piloted in 14 schools in 2005. Its aim was to provide solutions to perennial school problems like classroom congestion, teacher shortages and scarcity of learning materials due to over enrollment.
There are two (2) teachers in a class under the MISOSA who are classified as a regular teacher and a para-teacher. In MISOSA, the classes are split into two (2) groups. The first group remain inside the classroom (In-School) with the supervision of the regular teacher. The traditional way to teaching is done by the use of basic textbooks and teacher’s manual. On the other hand, the second group is taught outside the class (Off-School). Here, a para-teacher teaches using a module and other Strategic Intervention Materials (SIM). The students learn outside the classroom from Mondays to Thursdays and just attend their class on Fridays for enrichment and assessment of learning.
b. Enhanced Instructional Management by Parents, Community and Teachers (e-IMPACT) for elementary school children
This is a collaborative and cooperative approach done by students, parents, community and teachers. It employs a multi-grade instructions where older students tutor younger students. Since this is a modular approach, the students’ progress are measured through the number of modules they complete.
c. Open High School Program (OHSP) for secondary
This is implemented to solve the problem of students dropping out from school because of financial, personal, or family problems. OHSP does not require students to attend the regular class. Instead, they can attend their classes through distance learning. Students who can learn with minimal supervisions and voluntarily want a self-directed learning may enroll in OHSP.
- Kariton Klasrum(Pushcart Classroom)
Efren Peñaflorida, who later became a CNN Hero of the Year Award, is the person behind the idea of the Kariton Klasrum (Pushcard Clasroom) which was implemented around 2009. Upon recognizing the contribution of the Kariton Klasrum as an instrument to promote Education to all, it became a bridge program, which primarily aims to bring back children to school and become a part of the Alternative Learning System (ALS). Its aim is to help disadvantaged children particularly the street children to learn and later on mainstream them in the formal schools.
- Conditional Cash Transfer or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) which aims to give financial assistance to those children from poor families. This is done monthly for nutrition and health care expenses of the beneficiaries.
- School Health and Nutrition Program (SHNP)
The Department of Education also supports that in order for the students to remain in schools, they should be physically healthy at all times. With that several programs were implemented under SHNP such as the School-Based Feeding Program, Learner’s Health Appraisal System (LHAS) and the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in schools.
- Abot-Alam (Knowledge Within Reach)
This is implemented to reach the Out of School Youth ages 15 to 30 years old. This is a nationwide program of DepEd, together with the government and non-government agencies like ALS, TESDA, DTI, DOLE, Go Negosyo. The Alternative Learning System (ALS) cater to those out of school youth who wishes to finish their studies and want to pursue higher education. For those who are seeking employment opportunities, they may go to the nearest Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for assistance. On the other hand, the Department of Trade and Industry and private groups such as the Go Negosyo cater to those seeking entrepreneurship opportunities.
The review of all the programs and projects of the Department of Education, reveals that it’s not about the quantity of the programs but quality that should also be given attention. Strict implementations and monitoring of the said programs must be observed in order to meet the goals of the Education for All (EFA.) With a huge number of population in our country, the implementation, monitoring, and evaluations of such programs must be scrutinized thoroughly in order to answer the need for education of all Filipinos.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are that of the author and does not in anyway represents the agency or department she currently belongs.