Press Release
June 8, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the need for an in-depth assessment of the country's educational system amid declining performance and achievement indicators.

Angara said that any type of educational reform has a shelf life of about five years, after which the results must be reviewed. However, rapid technological development has made a periodic review necessary after three years.

Angara is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution No. 6, which proposes the creation of a Congressional Oversight Committee on Education. The veteran lawmaker headed the first EDCOM 20 years ago which produced a 14-volume report detailing needed education reforms. This include the present trifocal education system. However, other reforms recommended by EDCOM, such as the creation of a coordinating body among DepEd, CHED and TESDA, were never implemented.

"Almost every education index has declined since the first reforms recommended by EDCOM I were promulgated for lack of follow-up assessment and reviews," Angara said.

"This review may be done sectorally or geographically by the local government, but ultimately, the overall study should be done by a multilateral agency. We in Congress must take initiative in this matter because we have the authority and influence to enact change," he said.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, explained that the proposed EDCOM II would also address the changes in pedagogy, keeping teachers up to date with the latest learning and teaching technologies.

"Teachers are at the heart of our educational system. They must undergo continuous training if we want our students to be on par with those from our ASEAN neighbors," he said.

According to Angara, the Philippines continues to fall behind other developing countries in terms of learning and mastery in math and science. The root of this poor academic performance, he said, is underinvestment in the country's education.

The country's education spending relative to gross domestic product of 2.80 percent in 2008 remains low compared to the education investment of our Southeast Asian peers.

"Insufficient and unfocused spending on education will continue to hinder our human capital development," Angara warned.

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