MANILA, Philippines – While Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte mentioned plans on how to address the learning crisis and improve teachers’ welfare, she failed to mention any plans to address malnutrition among students.
“While she did talk about well-being of students, there was a lack of talking about nutrition. It is really important because 1 in 3 children aged 5 is stunted, they are malnourished. Their brains aren’t fully developed on how they should be. It has many repercussions that are life-long,” Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) executive director Justine Raagas said in a Rappler Talk interview on Friday, February 3.
Raagas said while it seems to be “far-off” from education, nutrition and education of students are “intertwined.”
Aral Pilipinas lead convenor Reg Sibal said that sometimes the government forgets this because they are too focused on addressing the problems that they only see.
“There are time that we’re too focused on curriculum and classrooms, and we tend to forget that before the students go to the classrooms, they should be given sufficient things to address their needs,” she said.
Both Raagas and Sibal, however, noted that this problem on malnutrition should be a collaboration among government agencies, not just the Department of Education (DepEd).
“This problem isn’t just DepEd alone. Hopefully, it’s not late to be added in the agenda,” Raagas said.
On Monday, January 30, Duterte delivered her Basic Education Report, laying out the challenges and learning reforms for the sector during her term.
Duterte cited the lack of facilities and resources as the “most pressing issue hounding Philippine basic education.” She also noted that the “congested” K to 12 curriculum needs revision to make senior high school graduates “job-ready.”
The Vice President also put a spotlight on teachers’ welfare in addressing the learning crisis. – Rappler.com
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