EDCOM 2 marks anniversary with release of Year One Report

The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) released its Year One Report as it marks  its First Year yesterday, January 23, 2024, following its official convening last year as mandated by Republic Act 11899. 

“We learned many lessons since the EDCOM 2 started to fulfill its mandate of conducting its national assessment on the Philippine education sector. We know that the work is far from being over and while we are yet to uncover many challenges, it is crucial that we commit ourselves to the goal of ending the perennial crisis in our education system,” said Senator Win Gatchalian, Co-Chairperson of EDCOM 2.

Entitled “Miseducation: The Failed System of Philippine Education”, the Commission’s Year One Report highlights its findings in twelve out of its twenty-eight Priority Areas, ranging from early childhood to higher education. The Report consolidates EDCOM’s findings following  extensive research as well as consultations, focused group discussions, and site visits all over the country in the past year. This is in line with the Commission’s mandate to “undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector”, as provided by Republic Act 11899.

To support the Commission in its diagnosis of the challenges that affect learning outcomes, EDCOM has also commissioned  90 studies with its partner organizations, including  the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, and other scholars all over the country and abroad.

The release of the Report coincides with the report to the Senate, delivered by EDCOM Co-Chairperson, Senator Win Gatchalian, as well as its formal submission to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri. Last Monday, EDCOM Co-Chairperson Representative Roman Romulo also officially reported EDCOM’s findings to the House of Representatives, and presented the Report to Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Recommendations for education reform

The Report includes forty recommendations of EDCOM, including actions taken by the Commission in the past year.

Among its recommendations deals with the failure to permanently establish a coordinating body between the three education agencies – DepEd, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The Commission noted that this has resulted in lack of effective coordination between them, aggravated by the existence of 64 different interagency bodies that the three main education agencies need to attend to, on top of their primary mandate. 

The Report also cites the lack of access to early childhood education in the country, despite RA 6972 of 1990 requiring each province, city, or municipality to establish a day care center in every barangay. Data from the DSWD and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council shows that only 36% have at least 1 child development center (CDC) per day care, or 15,207 out of 42,027 barangays in the country.

EDCOM 2 Co-Chair Senator Win Gatchalian reported to the Senate on Tuesday, 23 January, the first year anniversary of EDCOM following the ceremonial opening of the exhibit in the Senate. 

“As we embark on the remaining two years of EDCOM, our resolve is even stronger. This year, we will examine the remaining 16 priorities, addressing concerns from early childhood to higher education, including issues such as the shortage in classrooms, bullying, and research productivity”, Sen. Gatchalian said. 

“That said, we are conscious that our ultimate goal is larger than resolving issues that are symptomatic of its root cause: the need to build and future-proof a system of education that will not only be effective today, but is able to evolve with the needs of the future”, he continued. 

“System failure in Philippine Education” 

The Report notes that the Philippine education system struggles to meet the criteria of a system, defined as “a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole”, falling short of establishing “a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education” as mandated by the Constitution. Instead, EDCOM reports, that “agencies, bureaus, and offices have focused on their respective mandates and targets, often independent of one another”, which “has led to the ‘miseducation’—or plainly, poorly delivered education—of Filipino learners”. 

The full Report is published for download on the EDCOM 2 website – www.edcom2.gov.ph/#report


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