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Philippine Education for All 2015: Implementation and Challenges

Education is very important to human. We need to be educated in order for us not to be fooled by someone. Our parents send us in school to learn the basic skills specifically reading, writing, and simple arithmetic because they believe that education is the only treasure that they can give to us. It is also an instrument to elevate our social status in life. That’s why our government is trying to think of an effective way to lessen the numerous illiterate Filipinos. Due to the government’s strong desire to uplift the educational status of the Philippines they responded to the World Declaration on Education For All in 1990 and the country came up with the Philippine EFA 2015 National Action Plan entitled “Functionally Literate Filipinos, An Educated Nation.” The EFA plan constituted the national objectives, goals, policies and strategies. The following constitutes the EFA goals like improving and expanding Early Childhood Care and Development especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The local government helps this program to be implemented by upgrading and expanding the existing Day Care Centers and Health Centers of every barangay. The ECCD program uses holistic approach to bring about the optimum development of the children which may help the child to experience love, harmony and harmless atmosphere inside the ECCD Centers. Another goal of EFA 2015 is to ensure universal access to complete, free and compulsory primary and secondary education as stated on the Republic Act 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001 along with Republic Act 6655 or the Free Secondary Education Act. These laws are of great help to the parents who were financially incapacity or those who belongs to indigent family because they can send their children to any public elementary and secondary schools without paying any amount on tuition fees. The third goal of EFA is ensuring young people and adults’ access to appropriate learning and life skills program which came up with the establishment of Alternative Learning System. ALS gives chances to out-of-school youths and adults who did not finish their formal schooling and no stable job to continue their education and pursue their unfinished dreams and get good jobs. Once a learner entered the program they are required to attend sessions in order for them to learn the five learning areas: i) communication skills (including listening, speaking, reading and writing from print and electronic media); ii) problem solving and critical thinking (numeracy and scientific thinking); iii) sustainable use of resources and productivity (including ability to earn a living as an employed or self-employed person, sustainable resources and productivity); iv) development of self and a sense of community (a sense of personal and national history and identity, cultural pride and recognition and understanding of civil and political rights); and v) expanding one’s world vision (knowledge, respect and appreciation for diversity, peace and non-violent resolution of conflicts, and global awareness and solidarity).Once they completed the program they will be assessed and when they passed the assessment they will receive a certificate signed by the DepEd Secretary and they can now apply for a good job. Other goals constitutes the EFA 2015 are improving the levels of adult literacy, eliminating gender disparities in elementary and secondary education and improving the quality of the Philippine education. I’m happy that the government is trying their best to sustain the needs of the Filipinos when it comes to education. But there are still challenges that will hinder this EFA 2015 goal. One of those is the mentality of some parents that since basic education is free in the Philippines they did not care if their children will stop schooling. So, this serves as a factor that this action plan shall perhaps fail. Well, we can’t blame those parents, although education is free but some school expenses were not free and to make it easy to understand the great factor why these parents are forced to stop their children in studying is the poverty. So, ironically speaking the government is trying to combat poverty by the use of this program but the poverty itself is like doing a counter attack to make this program impossible. On the other hand, I guess at least the government will lessen the increasing number of illiterate persons before the target year which is 2015, and that will be promising on our side. I have agreed on the recommendations cited on the reading materials. The DepEd should consider all the possible problems that may arise on achieving the EFA 2015 Goals. They should put in to consideration the unreached and underserved group of learners such as the children involved in labor, the street children, children with special needs, Muslim children and children in conflict-affected areas. They are challenges in attaining the goals of EFA 2015. The government should allocate bigger budget to education so that they can build more school buildings, adequate instructional materials like textbooks, manuals, and modules and also a well established and standardized curriculum that may improve the quality education. The K + 12 curriculum can be of great help to have a well developed basic education on the primary level. The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. Different local government units and private sectors can contribute for the attainment of EFA 2015. Let’s help one another to lessen illiteracy and produce students who are functionally literate. Submitted by: Juvilyn E. Clutario (MEM I -1)

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