Press Release
July 10, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara supported the recent call of Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro for increased legislative and budgetary support for the education sector.

According to Luistro, resource gaps have been the major obstacle in pursuing reforms, particularly in implementing the K+12 Basic Education Plan by 2013.

Angara agreed that resource gaps in the form of textbooks, classrooms and school buildings have resulted in, for instance, larger class sizes that makes learning more challenging for both teachers and students.

The officially approved class size in the Philippines is 60 students compared with Malaysia's 31.7, Thailand's 22.9, and South Korea's 34.7.

"Investing in roads and bridges is vital to our overall development - but so are investments in our human capital," said Angara.

"The Philippines at this point has the lowest per head investment in education among our economic peers in Southeast Asia. The first major step we could take towards reform is the K+12 plan, but that is not enough," he added.

Angara is sponsoring the Early Years Act and Kindergarten Education Act to equip young Filipino pupils with the skills and overall readiness that will help them get into and stay in school.

He also supports adding to more years to basic education to decongest a curriculum which tries to cram 12-years worth of learning into 10, as well as bring the country's standards on par with international norms, such as the Washington Accord for engineering professionals and Bologna Accord for European industries.

"Simultaneously, it is imperative that we come up with a better financing system and unburden families from huge education costs especially in higher learning. Compared to our Asian neighbors, almost 85 percent of education costs in the Philippines is shouldered by the parents. In Japan and Korea, families cover less than 20 percent," said Angara.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and Arts, is also pushing for the passage of the Congressional Oversight Committee for Education or EDCOM.

He challenges his colleagues in Congress to unite in working for a comprehensive review of the education system and begin the move towards reforming it to make Filipino graduates internationally competitive.

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