PGMA to focus on modernizing RP education system
In her remarks before the start of this afternoon's roundtable discussion in Malacanang that focused on education for competitiveness, productivity and poverty alleviation, the President revealed that the government increased the budget allocation in education to P150 billion this year from P129 billion in 2006 in an effort to modernize the educational system.
"Mga kababayan, sa darating na State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) sa July 23 at sa susunod na tatlong taon, isang bagay ang bibigyan ng pansin at prayoridad, investment. Pamumuhunan hindi lamang para sa negosyo at imprastruktura kundi pamumuhunan sa taumbayan upang lalong makinabang ang mamamayan sa pagsigla ng ekonomiya," she said.
For the technical and vocational education, the President said that she has allotted P4 billion for student loans, business funded training, and expansion of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) under the leadership of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
As a result of this, beneficiaries of student loans increased from 40,000 last year to 200,000 this year.
The President reported that in 2006, her administration had constructed 15,000 classrooms and implemented two shifts a day with a ratio of 50 grade school students in every classroom, except in some conflict areas.
"If someone knows of an elementary school with two shifts and yet there are more than 50 students per classroom in each shift, please let us know," she urged.
Since 2001, the government has hired more than 40,000 teachers and trained 200,000. In 2004, the DepEd also started its regional payroll system which processes salaries and retirement pays within 30 days.
The government, according to the Chief Executive, also procured 120 million textbooks and teachers manuals and was able to provide one textbook per grade school student for English, Filipino, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies subjects compared to one textbook for every five learners in the past.
To ensure the success of the program, the President instructed all government agencies and government financial institutions (GFIs) to support the educational upgrading project of the government.
Among those in the discussion were DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus, CHED Chairman Carlito Puno, TESDA Chairman Augusto "Bobby" Syjuco and the beneficiaries of TESDA ladderized training program Roslyn Darum, a welder of Hanjin in Subic, Zambales and Charity Fernandez, call center agent of APAC Call Center. (PNA)