‘Our hearts should be improving education’ Rep. Angara calls for ten-year education investment program

In celebrating Valentine’s Day, a senior legislator urged the national government to craft a 10-year education investment program that should fill up the classroom shortage, make public schools tech-savvy, feed malnourished school kids, broaden the access of poor kids to education and make education a true tool into meritocracy.

“We should address all gaps in the educational system—from classroom lack to feeding malnourished school kids. We should make the educational system march in lock step with the 21stcentury,” said Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, a senatorial candidate under the Team PNoy coalition.

“This is no doubt a tremendous task and will require not only huge amounts of public and private investment, but also all our combined talents, intellect and energies. There will be no way of achieving this if our hearts are not completely in it.”

Angara, Chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, said that the Department of Education (DepEd) can tap a pool of experts, educational managers and professionals to craft and implement the ten-year investment program that will be sweeping in scope and with very ambitious goals.

Angara said the sustained growth under the Aquino administration provides the ideal context to push through with a long-term education investment program.

“Now is the time to invest heavily in our education, given we are serious about instituting reforms and innovation into government,” he added. “Our population is also increasingly becoming younger, more energetic. As they hold so much potential, we will need to give them whatever it is they will need to build a brighter future for the country.”

The former law lecturer then explained that the curriculum should be rewritten to arm high school graduates with the tools and skills that are sought after by the job mainstream, noting that the current K to 12 program of the DepEd falls in line with this proposal.

He added that current programs and public-private partnerships (PPPs) for school-buildings are definite steps towards filling up classroom shortages, citing that the class size of public schools and student-teacher ratio in the country is one of the highest in the region.

Infrastructure investment should also include the necessary tools and materials for a modern education. Public schools should be computerized and connected to the Web as educational hardware and software should be a regular feature.

The basic, nagging problem of malnourished school kids should also be reined in, he said.

“A grand plan for modernizing our educational system is already being rolled out and only serious, sustained and hearty investments would lead to having modern and innovative schools.”