PASIG CITY, December 22, 2017 – The Department of Education (DepEd), through the External Partnerships Service (EPS), expressed its gratitude to partners and stakeholders by way of an appreciation program held on December 12 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan.
A total of 209 partners from the private and government sectors were honored for their valuable contribution and unwavering support in the delivery of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for the Filipino learners.
The said partners were given recognition for their multi-component projects on education, assistance on school facilities improvement, provision of support packages for information and technology (IT), and support packages for teachers and learners for the year 2017. Government and community partners, as well as the partners for rehabilitation of Marawi schools, were also recognized.
“We cannot simply address the multitude of challenges confronting basic education without the help and support of our partners like you,” Undersecretary for Planning and Regional Operations Jesus Mateo said during his welcome remarks.
Partners’ contributions, strategic directions
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito Umali reported on the partners’ contribution for education. “As of September 30, 2017, we have already generated resources amounting to P8.2 billion, surpassing the amount that we have raised in 2015,” he shared. The said amount includes equipment, facilities, structures, school buildings, and man-hour services which totaled P7.9 billion in 2015 and rose to P9.8 billion in 2016.
“Without you, all these things will never come to fruition,” Umali told the partners.
He also ensured that the External Partnerships Service (EPS) will fast-track the partners’ needs in terms of the timely processing of documents and technical requirements through the establishment of working groups. He committed a more vibrant, and a more efficient and effective facilitation of all the partnership programs.
Plans for 2018 also include the alignment of programs and projects with DepEd priorities and directions; expansion of partners’ investment for education; extension of assistance in the availing of tax incentives; and the conduct of capacity building for regions, divisions, and school partnership focal persons to promote stronger relationships and sustainable partnerships.
Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones also graced the occasion and personally thanked the partners: “We should be the ones to stand and bow before all of you for helping us out in this gigantic task of providing basic education to our learners.”
The Education chief explained that while DepEd receives the highest share in the national budget as mandated by the Constitution, the resources are never enough given the 26.6 million learners (which increase every year), nearly 700,000 teachers, and thousands of administrative employees in the organization.
“We, in the Department, are very fortunate because in our culture – our Asian culture – education is always considered as a noble undertaking, and it is always a preferred area of assistance for business, for churches, and civil society. It is always the first choice. And we do everything, we exert all efforts to be deserving, to be accountable, and most of all, to be grateful for such assistance,” she relayed.
She also shared the various challenges in education, including the implementation of the Senior High School (SHS) Program, the occurrence of natural disasters, the Indigenous Peoples’ Education (IPEd), and the Department’s appeal to restore the P30 billion budget intended for computers and laboratories, especially given the rapidly changing technology to which the learners should be attuned.
The Secretary further acknowledged those who have taken interest in training teachers and learners, and cited the need to focus on research, financial literacy, and robotics. She also called for continuous contributions in the improvement of the curricula, particularly on drug prevention, gender and reproductive health programs, human rights, and global citizenship.
EPS Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros thanked all the partners for making a difference in education during her closing remarks: “For the many projects that are yet to come and that are yet to be planned for the coming years, we are thanking you in anticipation of the many things that you will be doing.”
This is originally posted in deped.gov.ph