by Fil V. Elefante
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones recently reaffirmed the Department’s commitment and advocacy to cater to the educational needs of all learners, including those thriving in the margins.
The Secretary stated this during her speech at the 15th International Conference of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) which carried the theme, “Thriving in the Margins: Inclusive Education Re-Imagined.”
“So we, in DepEd, reaffirm our commitment, our advocacy, to serve the people, especially the learners, who are thriving in the margins… We know that they are still there and their number might still increase if they remain to be neglected,” Briones said.
She further highlighted that education opens opportunities to learners and makes their choices in life possible: “We have to provide them with access to quality education that will give them a chance to make choices, to become better version of themselves, and to land on their target careers.”
With around 26.6 million learners nationwide, the Department ensures to make education truly inclusive for the different Filipino groups through various programs and projects including the Alternative Learning System (ALS), Special Education (SpEd) Program, and Madrasah Education Program, among others.
“In DepEd, the attention is not only given to our formal education system, but also to the various alternative modes in delivering quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education,” Briones pointed out.
The said Conference aimed to provide an opportunity for the participants to rethink and reflect on the current and good practices in inclusive quality education and how these lessons can be applied in their individual contexts and realities. It was held from March 6 to 8 at the Pearl Hall, SEAMEO INNOTECH in Quezon City, and was attended by around 200 educators and other education stakeholders from 14 countries.