Press Release
February 29, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need for major structural reforms in the country's educational sector in his message at the 4th National COCOPEA (Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations) Congress held earlier today at the University of Santo Tomas.

"We are at a critical crossroads in our country's development," he said. "However, there has been no structural reform in education in the past two decades, resulting in a system that is unresponsive to the demands of the times."

During his speech, Angara enumerated the three major areas of reform which is necessary to boost Philippine competitiveness to global standards.

"First, is the reform in preschool or early education. I am heartened to see that the two major bills I authored about early education have progressed so swiftly: The Early Years Act, which is awaiting the President's signature, and the Kindergarten Act which was signed into law earlier this week," he explained.

According to Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts, these bills will maximize the rapid mental development during a child's first few years.

"Equally important is the restructuring of the Basic Education system in the Philippines. The K-12 curriculum I am pushing for with the support of other government agencies aims to improve our capacity for innovation by producing more capable graduates whose education conforms to international standards," he said.

Angara cited the Bologna Accord, which requires 12 years of Primary and Secondary education--leaving the Philippines as one of only 3 countries (along with Angola and Djibouti) with only 10 years of Basic Education.

The veteran legislator also expressed his gratitude towards the leaders of the country's colleges and universities among the participants of the COCOPEA Congress.

"Many of you here have participated in the public hearings held at the Senate to discuss the implementation of the K-12 curriculum. We appreciate all your inputs and insights in helping shape this policy," said Angara.

The third area of reform, according to Angara, revolves around raising the standards of teaching Science and Mathematics in the country.

He mentioned the faculty of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) with the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE)--which he also heads--is spearheading the programs tasked to improve the quality of our teaching personnel.

"Doing so would ensure that we develop our students into critical thinkers who have a mastery of genuine comprehension, and the ability to solve complex problems. We must prepare our youth, and equip them so that they can go head to head with the rest of the world," stressed Angara.

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