Secretary Wendel Avisado of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) assures the public that—despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering effects on the country—education remains the top priority of the government.
He further said that the Department of Education continues to have the biggest chunk of the national budget for this year. He also adds that a part of this year’s budget was aimed at acquiring the necessary equipment for students to take part in blended learning.
“Ang Department of Education ang may pinakamalaking budget para sa taong 2021. At ito po ay umabot ng P751.7B katumbas ng 16.7 percent sa kabuuang budget. At dito po makikita natin na mas lumaki pa yung budyet for learning resources. Nandito na yung blended learning, pag bibili ng computers, laptops, mga tablets, et cetera,” Secretary Avisado said.
He also mentioned that the government understands that the digitization of learning has accelerated in the past year due to the pandemic. As a result, blended learning comprises most—if not all—of today’s school arrangements, which makes the acquisition of computers, laptops, tablets, and the like essential. He also said that this shift to digitalization and other modes of learning is reflected by the increase in the allocation for education this year.
Avisado also said that to promote educational continuity while ensuring the safety and well-being of all students, teachers and personnel, the education sector will be implementing COVID-19 response programs, activities and projects, those focused on learning resources and compliance to minimum health standards such as adopting flexible learning options, textbook and other instructional materials, General Management and Supervision and Operation of Schools.
The sector will also adopt computerization programs, human resources development for personnel in schools and learning centers, plus teacher quality and development programs as part of digitization of learning modalities and capacity building.
Other programs will also be implemented such as disaster preparedness, including construction, rehabilitation and completion of school buildings and other similar infrastructure as part of the Department of Education’s Basic Education Continuity Learning Plan (BE-LCP).
He also shared that the government aims to enhance the capacity of teachers to cope with the “new normal” way of teaching. This comes in the form of training and seminars for the teachers, which aims to improve their skills in utilizing technology to conduct lessons effectively, even from the confines of their own homes.
“Kaya mayroong tinatawag na human resources development for personnel and schools and learning centers at tsaka yung teacher quality and development program,” he added.
Avisado also said that, despite the ongoing pandemic, President Duterte remains adamant in prioritizing education for the year 2021.
“Sa kabila ng pandemya wag daw talaga pababayaan ang kabataan,” the DBM chief said.