COCA-COLA Foundation president and executive director Ma. Cecilia Alcantara's piece in yesterday's Inquirer is indicative of the extra attention being given by the private sector on the state of public education in the Philippines. For once this is a refreshing change, and DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus's businesslike approach in running the department seems to have inspired renewed confidence.
The new buzzword, Alcantara said, "is the '57-75' framework, which aims to raise the national achievement average from its present failing level to a passing mark—from 57 percent to 75 percent within the next five years."
In achieving this goal, former Education Secretary Butch Abad--who continues his work on education governance from the private sector side--is on the ball by asking what I also believe is the toughest question in this growing national effort:
Who becomes accountable for attaining the 75 passing grade? The students? The teachers? The principals? The superintendents? The regional directors? The secretary of education?Mayor Robredo provided much of the answer when he described the two principles of our school board project: (1) education is a shared community responsibility, which (2) goes together with shared accountability. "That's all of us!" Alcantara exclaimed. "Not just some of us, but every one of us brave and caring enough to want to make a real difference."
Dean Bocobo of course disagrees and sees the centralized, P150B-a-year public system run by DepEd as the main problem, and passionately argues for its privatization in a series of posts that started with this.