Press Release
May 25, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called today for a reevaluation of the Philippine's educational system, stressing that the government needs to enact dramatic reforms to rescue the struggling sector.

"We need to overhaul our education sector, to turn it on its head and examine it component by component, element by element," said Angara at the National Education Forum today. The forum was hosted by the Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Angara said that the country's education system has been lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors especially in terms of government spending and investment.

"Looking at recent international studies--we are obviously among the weakest in terms of competitiveness in the region. We used to be the teacher of many Asian countries. Now, we have to go to them with a begging bowl," he lamented.

He stressed that human development is at the heart of a country's competitiveness. He said, however, that "Our human development index is declining rapidly--a great cause for apprehension, anxiety and great urgency."

According to Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, three events can systematically trigger nationwide reforms in education.

"First is a political or economic crisis gripping the nation, prompting increased efforts towards better education. Second, the presence of an energetic and visionary educational leader to steer this reform and finally, a dramatic, high profile study on the dismal state of education in our country, which will embed itself into the minds of our leaders and policymakers, prompting them into swift action," he said.

The veteran legislator--chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education in 1990 which proposed the trifocal system of education we have today--said that while reform is difficult to achieve with our system of government and political climate, favorable events and personalities have converged and made this time ripe for reform.

"I have witnessed the ebb and flow of events and persons, and I can tell when it's time to initiate reform --and I believe that this is indeed a great time for it. We must let this sense of outrage compel us to act and move fast because this is the right time and this is the right opportunity for change," he asserted.

News Latest News Feed