Press Release
April 28, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized that the country will need to enact even more comprehensive reforms in the educational system, on top of the proposed K+12 program, to transition and compete as a knowledge-based economy.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, expressed dismay over recent statistics released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) that show a continuous decline in the number of college graduates over the last decade.

According to the NSCB, the total number of graduates increased by an average of 2.9 percent--a rate considered very slow in the face of the country's continuous population growth. The study also pointed out that the share of graduates from courses related to Education Science, Teacher Training, Engineering and Technology is also on the downtrend, from 31.3 percent of the total in AY 2000-2001 to 22 percent in AY 2009-2010.

"Various studies have already been published around the world on how we direly need to improve our education system. But with very clear, empirical data, our very own people are already sounding the alarm for us to act immediately on reversing these worrisome trends," said Angara.

Last week, the K+12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd) was formally launched in Malacanang. In a statement, Angara expressed support for the reforms, but also cautioned that other initiatives--such as improving the curriculum, enhancing teacher training programs and addressing infrastructure gaps quickly and sustainably--are also needed to effectively strengthen the country's educational system

The veteran lawmaker, who is also Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, noted a recent study from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) that highlighted how low spending on state-run colleges and universities has had an adverse impact on the quality of higher education in the country.

He stressed, "But the solutions we need to roll out will have to tackle the complexity of the issues our education system faces. Clearly, it goes beyond adding two more years to the education cycle and increasing public investment in our schools, universities and colleges."

To conclude, the former UP President said, "It is good that government has already started the process of reforming education in the country. And while K+12 is in itself significant, it is only one step among the many that we as a country will need to undertake."

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