education in the Philippines

After Sara Duterte exit, Filipinos online share who they want next as DepEd chief

Russell Ku

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After Sara Duterte exit, Filipinos online share who they want next as DepEd chief
(1st UPDATE) Some social media users hope the next Department of Education secretary will come from the education sector, while others want someone who understands the real situation in classrooms nationwide

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Sara Duterte resigned as Department of Education (DepEd) secretary on Wednesday, June 19, leaving the post vacant amid plans to switch back to the old academic calendar and reports of Filipino students’ poor performance in global learning assessments

After Duterte’s resignation from the Marcos Cabinet, Rappler asked Filipinos online about their expectations and wish list for the next DepEd secretary. 

Rappler Communities user Patrick Lubenia preferred that the next education secretary be “from the education sector, maybe a scientist,” and someone with a track record of moral leadership. 

Some social media users echoed Lubenia in hoping that the next secretary would come from the education sector, adding that the person should be someone who “rose from the ranks.”

Others said the next education chief should be someone who has compassion and integrity and understands the real situation in classrooms nationwide. 

Facebook user Chryst Gaven Alfon Famorcan said the next DepEd secretary should incorporate new media, such as “online educational videos,” in student learning.

Salha Waad, meanwhile, emphasized the need for the next education chief to “respect opinions of the people based on their beliefs” and engage students in critical thinking. 

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Results of the Program for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) new test on creative thinking released on Tuesday, June 18, showed that Filipino students were among the lowest performers, with a mean score of 14. 

Education officials said the Philippines’ poor showing in the PISA tests indicated a five- to six-year lag in learning competencies in the country. 

DepEd announced in February that the Philippines would gradually revert to the old academic calendar due to public clamor, as the summer months of April and May are not conducive to learning. 

Education experts, however, see this as a “stopgap measure” as it doesn’t address the lack of ventilation in classrooms and the “learning loss” that could happen as a result of the shift.

Classes for school year 2024-2025 will start on July 29, 2024, and end on April 15, 2025. –

What’s your wish list for the next DepEd secretary? Share it in the education chat room of the Rappler Communities app. 

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler who believes in the power of stories to build an empathic society.