Angara cites 4 major areas of concern for DepEd

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 17, 2010-Sen. Edgardo J. Angara has identified four major areas of concern which the Department of Education must immediately address under the leadership of Secretary Armin Luistro.


Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture said these pressing concerns are funding education for schoolchildren, shortage of teachers, classrooms, chairs and textbooks; the issue of separation of Church and State and the rapidly growing number of out-of-school youths (OSYs) in the country.  


“First of all, how do we finance the basic education of the Filipino children? The most pressing problem right now in our educational system is the shortage of teachers, of classrooms, chairs, and textbooks. How do you plan to manage this, and in what time frame?” asked Angara during a hearing on the confirmation of the appointment of Luistro.


Angara said that he also wants to clarify the relations of the Church and the government. He mentioned Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to Luistro’s appointment because of his loyalties to his church.


“Now, more than ever, we need to uphold the separation of the church and the state. I have confidence in Fr. Luistro’s abilities, but he must be able to handle issues such as sex education and the RH Bill with objectivity,” he stressed.


Angara said the DepEd should also address the problem of OSYs in the country. He disclosed that almost two-thirds of the formal education population are not able to study.


Angara, a former president of the University of the Philippines, said one of the  possible solutions to most of the major problems in the country’s educational system is the use of educational technology in the teaching and learning process.


“Perhaps we could make up for the lack of traditional learning materials through ‘smart schools’ and ‘smart classrooms’. Educational services can be delivered electronically, which could be more effective and cost-efficient,” he explained, adding that these four issues were left to Fr. Luistro to be answered in the next CA hearing on November 23. (Jason de Asis)