While digitalization is the current trend on learning delivery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Secretary Leonor Briones underscored the need to ensure that the “humanistic aspects” of education will be retained in the curriculum.

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Education Secretary Leonor Briones

Briones, during last week’s virtual press briefing, disclosed her recent online meeting with around 200 ministers of education. “We exchanged views, and the direction really is blended learning, towards digitalization,” she said.

While the current direction on education worldwide is towards the use of technology, Briones said that proper caution must also be exercised. “My stand as Education Secretary is that culture should not be excluded because our history is what makes us human vis-a-vis other creatures on the planet,” she added.

Briones said that while other countries are exploring new and efficient ways of teaching, the “challenge is to keep the humanistic aspects of education.”

She participated in an online Extraordinary Global Education Meeting (GEM) co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the governments of Ghana, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

 During the meeting, Briones said the Philippines “always prioritized education” in accordance with its Constitution as DepEd receives the highest portion of the national budget. 

However, Briones noted that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was intense competition for national resources and the challenge was to defend continuity of learning. “We are doing all we can to ensure continuity of learning,” she said. 

Amid the lingering threat of COVID-19, Briones said that the country continues to do its best “so that delivery of learning was done in as safe a manner as possible.”  As the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, she added that “education is a sound investment for transformation.”

Despite the challenges, Briones said “there will be equity and quality gains in education in the Philippines.”

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