education in the Philippines

EDCOM II urges Marcos to create Cabinet cluster for education

Bonz Magsambol

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EDCOM II urges Marcos to create Cabinet cluster for education

EDUCATION. File photo of students and teachers as they go about their regular classes at the General Roxas Elementary School in Quezon City.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

EDCOM II executive director Karol Yee says there should be an enhanced coordination across the three education agencies as the government reviews the system and addresses the learning crisis

MANILA, Philippines – The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to create a Cabinet cluster for education for the enhanced coordination of the three education agencies under the executive department.

These education agencies are the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

EDCOM II said on Thursday, July 11, it had sent a letter to Marcos stating its request, which was made ahead of the President’s third State of the Nation Address on July 22.

“While the trifocalization of the education system allowed the DepEd, CHED, and TESDA to focus on the subsectors they represent, the absence of an effective coordinating mechanism became a challenge in pursuing a coherent education strategy,” said EDCOM II Chairperson Senator Win Gatchalian.

EDCOM II executive director Karol Yee said there should be an enhanced coordination across the three education agencies as the government reviews the system and addresses the learning crisis.

“Addressing the longstanding lack of effective coordination among our education agencies since the trifocalization took place in the 1990s is long overdue. While the EDCOM continues to study longer-term structural reforms that it could propose, the creation of this Cabinet cluster will ensure that education priorities and directions build on one another,” Yee said.

Trifocalization was the product of EDCOM I, when CHED and TESDA were created in addition to what used to be the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports or DECS. There was an attempt before to implement a coordination council for the three agencies but the government failed to institutionalize it.

On June 19, Marcos named Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara as the new DepEd secretary, effective July 19. Angara inherits a gargantuan problem in the education sector, including the poor performance of Filipino students in global education assessments. A World Bank report showed that 9 in 10 Filipino students aged 10 are struggling to read simple text. – Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.