by Christian Lawrence Tan || Photo Credit: Kyle Nase
As the familiar noise of idle chatter and academic activity once again graces the buildings of learning known as schools, a foe also returns and bares its fangs toward the Filipino people. The nightmare that not only haunts the minds of children but even those of the country’s leaders: the education crisis.
With Vice President Sara Duterte as the acting DepEd Secretary after being offered the position by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., people are anticipating change because of their promise to improve education in the Philippines. However, not much change is being felt in the country at the moment. Teachers and students alike are overwhelmed by the shift in conditions from online to in-person classes as the quality of education remains substandard.
The DepEd Secretary herself has also made promises and plans to solve the education crisis, the reimplementation of Mandatory ROTC training being one of them. Many see it as either pointless or something that should not be a priority given present difficulties. Some expressed how it would simply add another layer of responsibility and burden to a workforce and system that are already stretched paper thin.
Read: Mandatory ROTC
Thankfully, Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte has already created a list of other potential responses to the crisis, ranging from student profiling to remedial classes. On the other hand, it is uncertain how well she truly understands the obstacles in the way of Philippine education due to having no background or accolades in the said field. Her lack of prior experience as an educator proves to be a concern for some who worry that her enacted plans will only increase the already great strain on the system.
Vice President Duterte has also mentioned that if DepEd is given 100 billion pesos in its budget, she would take steps to improve the state of education in the country, leading to her six-year plan. However, the exact steps she plans to enact remain unclear, thus leading to a few posing questions about the concrete details of her fix for a problem that has piled up over decades. It also poses a model of concern how plans for something as crucial as the country’s education and the youth’s future remain at the bottom of the list of priorities.
With education as the foundation of every individual, it is essential to ask if the steps that were and will be taken will bring us to the right direction. Although some may applaud the achievements, it is still a far cry from what could have been done in the past to remedy the situation. Indeed, too much talk with only a few actions has become the Achilles’ heel of the Department of Education and is the cause of the steady progression of the education crisis over the years.