“We need to remember to keep the learner at the very center of everything that we are trying to do”, Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez (Neg. Occ, 3rd District) said Wednesday, March 1.
Benitez delivered the closing remarks during the meeting of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) Standing Committee on Early Childhood Care and Development and Basic Education.
Benitez, co-chairperson of the Standing Committee and one of the Commissioners of EDCOM 2, highlighted the importance of pushing for reforms that undertake a “whole of society-approach” that underlines partnerships between the home and school, home and early childhood centers, or complementarity between public and private school networks.
“We need for the entirety of our society to understand two things. One: that what we do is crucial because we are still primarily a labor-exporting society”, Benitez said.
“We have a demographic dividend that we are still using as an asset. But if the education crisis is not addressed, this will mean many things for us down the line. And the second one is how to convey the urgency of the education crisis that the country is facing – and has been facing for the last 35 years”, he added.
Also present during the Standing Committee meeting were EDCOM 2 Co-Chairpersons Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Rep. Roman Romulo, EDCOM 2 Commissioner Sen. Pia Cayetano, Advisory Council members Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, Doris Ferrer, Maria Olivia Lucas, Mayor Lani Cayetano, and Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista.
Also present were Standing Committee members Amabelle Carino of Miriam College, Elvin Uy of Philippine Business for Social Progress, Diosdado San Antonio of SEAMEO Innotech, Dr. Allan B.I. Bernardo of De La Salle University, Fr. Jerome Marquez of the Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission Foundation, and Dr. Maria Therese Angeline Bustos of the UP College of Education.
EDCOM 2 is the Congressional body created through RA11899, tasked to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector. In the next three years, it will also recommend legislation that aims to address the education crisis in the country.*